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James "Bert" McGrew All Obituaries

Cedar Rapids

James Albert "Bert" McGrew, 92, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, in the Woodlands at The Meth-Wick Community, of which he was apart since 2012. He died peacefully, surrounded by loving care, of complications of COVID-19.
Bert was born Feb. 23, 1928, in Springville, Iowa, the son of Ernest and Irene (Hall) McGrew. He attended Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio, graduated from Springville High School, and attended college classes at Iowa State in Ames and Cornell College in Mount Vernon, where he met Mary Louise Jacobi (Mary Lou). They married on Dec. 4, 1948, in Chicago. Bert graduated as a history major with B.A. from Coe College in 1953. During his career, he was a school bus driver, a math teacher, and he retired as a production manager from the Square D Co. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in Lincoln, Neb., and in Palatine, Ill.
After retirement, Bert became a business financial advisor. He handled bookkeeping for Mary Louise Interiors (Mom's decorating business), for dear family members and worked for many years as an H&R Block seasonal tax preparer. He did love numbers and Sudoku!
While in Cedar Rapids, he was vibrant member of First Lutheran Church, serving as a choir member, a youth leader and he wrote a centennial history of the church. He was an enlightened Quaker with music in him, piano, trombone, guitar, ukulele and voice, he had lovely tenor one!! He shared that love of music with his children, family and friends. Many of us have sweet memories of sitting at the piano, playing and singing along with him. Some even remember hearing his voice accompany us into the sadness of Good Friday or the joy of a wedding!
He became a regular, summertime fisherman in Crow Wing, Minn., (inspired by his dear friend Warren Glantz) and brought his family along most years. He "red-capped" in Meth-Wick transportation system and held leadership role for the Brendel Hill neighborhood. Bert loved golfing, fishing in Minnesota and Canada, traveling, reading, history, music, puzzles, Mary Lou, his family, friends and his caretakers. He was such a good man and we are blessed to have had him with us for so long! We will so miss him!
He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Mary Lou; and their daughters, Sara Ellison of Lisbon, Iowa, and Claudia McCoy of Spokane, Wash.; his grandchildren, Emilia Ellison (Robert Weaver), Chelsea Ellison, Angela McCoy and Katie McCoy; two great-grandsons, Ethan and Chrystian; his sister, Lillian Stuhr (Daryl); as well as many dear nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Gertrude Sawyer; his brother, Merle McGrew; and his stepmother, Edna McGrew.
Please leave a message for the family on the website www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.
Memorials may be directed to the causes of your heartful choosing, with special emphasis on our love of one another and appreciation for Earth and its survival.
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