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Margaret F. Sears, 93

October 30, 2015
Traer Star-Clipper

Margaret Farnham Sears, 93, of Grinnell and formerly of Traer, died on October 24, 2015, in her home with her family around her.

A celebration of her life will be held 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 27, 2015, at the Smith Funeral Home in Grinnell with Susan Sanning officiating. Interment will be at Chester Cemetery north of Grinnell. Following the interment, a reception will be held in the Carman Center of the Mayflower Community, 600 Park Street in Grinnell.

Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Monday at the Smith Funeral Home and the family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 on Monday evening.

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Memorial contributions may be designated to Grinnell Regional Public Health Loan Closet or the Grinnell Christian School, mailed in care of the Smith Funeral Home, P.O. Box 368, Grinnell, Iowa 50112. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family online at

Margaret was born in 1922 in Traer, Iowa to Alford and Jean Brown Farnham, where her father was the town physician. She went to Traer High School, Waterloo Business School, and Monmouth College.

She married Donald Sears in 1946 on his return from 4-year deployment in the Pacific, in her parents' home in Traer. They farmed in Geneseo Township for 17 years before moving to Grinnell in 1963. Margaret served as bookkeeper for many years at Don Sears Implement. From 1968 to 1987, Margaret worked at GTE. During those years, both remained active in their church and community organizations.

Margaret had great love for her family, and attending every family event was important to her. She enjoyed traveling with family around the country, as long as family was involved. She enjoyed gardening, making gifts for family, and sharing her famous chocolate chip cookies. She will always be remembered for her bountiful family dinners and generous hospitality for any who came to her home. She served as treasurer for 30 years at Calvary Baptist Church and taught Sunday School for many years at Grace Community Church.

Margaret and Don lived in north Grinnell until Don's death in 1998. Later, Margaret lived with her daughter Joyce's family for eight years until her peaceful passing.

They are the parents of seven children, all of whom are celebrating today her life today: Chuck (Char), from Oak Grove, Missouri; Gail (Rudd) Petrich, Wayne, and Joann (Wayne) Pierce, all from the Chicago area; Joyce (Mark) Otto, from Grinnell; Bruce (Susan), from Yakima, Washington; and Joel (Honor) from Spokane, Washington. Margaret enjoyed her 22 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren (with twins on the way).

She was preceded in death by her parents; her two brothers, Alford Gailey and William; and her husband, Donald on January 30, 1998. *



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