Lorraine Garmager

Aug 25, 2020
Garmager, Lorraine Crop


10:30 Sept. 5 at Locke Funeral Home
-- Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, anyone attending the service or visitation will be required to wear masks, at the request of the family.


Visitation will take place from 5 to 7 p.m Sept. 4 at the funeral home. 


Waterloo Memorial Park Cemetery


 The family also requests that memorial contributions be made in Lorraine Garmager's name to the charity of your choice. 

Cards sent to the funeral home will be forwarded to the family. 


     Lorraine Garmager, 94, of Waterloo passed away peacefully in her sleep Aug. 25 at Bickford Assisted Living Center in Cedar Falls, where she had become a resident Aug. 1.

     Lorraine was born Jan. 19, 1926, in Stillman Valley, Illinois, just outside Rockford, to Elmer and Alice Swanson. Her mother had emigrated from Sweden at age 13.

     After graduating in 1944 from Rockford East High School, Lorraine became a bookkeeper with Metropolitan Life Inc.

     Her life story is deeply rooted in a 64-year marriage to Kenneth Garmager, whom she met when he gave her a ride home from high school one day. They were married Sept. 17, 1948, at Bethesda Covenant Church in Rockford after Ken had completed military service and studied business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

     Lorraine was known for her warm, friendly, outgoing personality. She was a joy to be around—always in the middle of laughter and fun—and loved talking with people. She thrived on family gatherings for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations.

     She was not only a wonderful mother to her daughter and two sons, but a beloved grandmother who was adored by her nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

     Until 1967, Lorraine and Ken remained in Rockford, where he was in the furniture business and had become general manager of House of Lindberg.

     Their life in Iowa began when Ken became Carl Mueller’s business partner in Mueller’s Furniture on University Avenue in Waterloo. He became sole owner of Mueller’s when Carl later retired.

     For 40 years, Lorraine and Ken were active members of First United Methodist Church in Waterloo.

     They enjoyed a busy social life well into their eighties with a large circle of friends, as well as with their extended families. They belonged to Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo for many years and were previously members of Beaver Hills Country Club and Splash Swim Club.

     Both Lorraine and Ken were enthusiastic Iowa Hawkeye fans who attended football games for more than 30 years as season ticket holders.

     In addition, Lorraine was a longtime member of P.E.O. International, the philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women, and she served as a volunteer for many years at Schoitz Hospital.

     Lorraine loved to travel and went with Ken on many skiing trips to Colorado, as well as one to Austria. They drove to Florida nearly every winter to visit close friends and celebrated their 60th anniversary with a trip to New York City. Their travels also included Norway, Sweden, France and Germany.

     After Ken died March 7, 2013, Lorraine had continued to live for more than seven years in their home that had been built for them in 1970.

     Lorraine is survived by her daughter, Kristine Larson and her husband, Dale, of North Liberty, and sons Scott Garmager and his wife, Jackie, of Cedar Falls, and Dr. Kirk Garmager and his wife, Ann, of Coralville.

     She is also survived by eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren: Aaron Larson and Jill Janeck of Chicago; Allison Garmager of Des Moines; Eli and Asih Asikin-Garmager of Iowa City, and their son, Dylan; Kimberly and Garrett Burrier of West Des Moines, and their daughters Sydney and Saydie; Krista Larson of Dakar, Senegal, and her daughters Abibatu, Kumba and Adama; Lauren Garmager of Coralville; Melissa Garmager and Drew Mettille of Urbandale, and their children Theo and Lucy; and Seth and Taren Garmager of Waterloo.

     Lorraine was preceded in death by not only her husband, but by her brothers, Marshall Swanson of Rockford, Illinois, and William Swanson, of Brookfield, Wisconsin, and by a grandson, Andrew Larson of Iowa City.

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Leave a comment
  1. Martha Hartwig | Aug 26, 2020
    I am keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers st this time. May you remember the blessings of family as you deal with this loss. May the peace of our living God fill your hearts and minds.
  2. Celeste and Dave Vincent | Aug 26, 2020

    Dear Family of Lorraine, 

    Your mom/grandma was such a pleasure to meet. I enjoyed visiting with her on Grandparent Day at Regina. Such a lady of great spirit...Please know we are praying for all of you. May sharing memories together keep her close in your heart. May you have some comfort knowing that she is now in God’s gentle hands. Blessings to all of you. Celeste and Dave Vincent

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