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Marlene Zarr

Marlene Joan Giles Zarr was born February 22, 1933, two miles north of Tingley, Iowa to John and Fern (Dunlap) Giles. Marlene passed away at the Mount Ayr Health Care Center on May 27, 2016.

Marlene was baptized as a baby at the Tingley Methodist Church and reconfirmed in 1975 in the Grand River near Westerville, IA. She attended Hackberry Country School until the 6th grade and the Tingley School, graduating in 1951. Upon graduation, she went to Des Moines and worked as a secretary in the Boys Department of the YMCA.

On October 22, 1951, she married Walter Dale Zarr in the Tingley Methodist Church and they made their home in Des Moines. Six months later, Walter was called into the US Army for duty in Korea and Marlene continued working in Des Moines at Paramount Films as a billing clerk until he returned in 1954 and then they moved to their farm northeast of Tingley. To this union three children were born: Michael David, Mindy Diane, and Max Douglas. In 1973, they left the farm to go into the ministry for the United Methodist Church.

Marlene was a cook at the Mt. Ayr Schools and the Tingley Center for 7 years; she worked at the Tingley State Savings Bank and Hawkeye Bank for 20 years; and upon Walter's death, she moved to Mt. Ayr in 1986 and became Deputy Auditor for Ringgold County until March, 2001. She has since enjoyed her retirement traveling and taking in Flea markets. But most of all, enjoying her children and grandchildren participating in their school and everyday activities. Cooking for her family was another love of hers. Her favorite saying was, "What would you like to eat"?

Preceding her death was her husband, Walter; her parents John and Fern Giles; and her in-laws David and Bessie Zarr.

Left to cherish her memory are her children Michael and companion Candi Campbell of Mt. Ayr, Mindy & husband Marty Lesan of Kellerton, and Max & wife Rhonda of Bondurant; four grandchildren Reggie Lesan & wife Emily of Mt. Ayr, Rachael Boyer & husband Ty of Urbandale, IA, Casey Zarr of Bondurant, IA, and Laura Campbell of Mt. Ayr; two great grandchildren Isaac Boyer and Sawyer Lesan; brother Larry Giles & wife Karon of Mt. Ayr; sister Sharyn Betof & husband John of Bluffdale, UT; aunt Raola Giles of Nevada, IA; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends.

Memorials are to the United Methodist Church and HCI Care Services, both in Mount Ayr.

  • Open Viewing

    May 31, 2016
    12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Family Will Be Present

    May 31, 2016
    5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Services

    June 01, 2016
    10:00 AM

    United Methodist Church

    301 West Madison St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Burial

    Wednesday June 01 2016

    Tingley Cemetery

    Tingley, IA

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marlene Zarr, please visit our flower store.


Sorry to find out of your passing Marlene! You was in our thoughts and always remember you from Grandma Fern! Love Lou

Posted by Lou Haley- Baxter - Fort Madison, IA - Acquaintance   June 14, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

I''m so sorry to hear of Marlene''s passing. When I remember her, it is always with a big smile--she sure could make a person laugh! Please be assured of my prayers for your peace.

Posted by Liz Deluhery - MEDFORD, NJ - Friend   June 02, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Mike, Mindy and Max, So sorry to hear about your mom. She always had a smile and quick wit, so loved that about her. Marlene would do anything for anyone. I have a little picture of myself when I was in Kindergarten or First Grade she found somewhere, so she brought it in to me, still have it on my bulletin board. I got to see her every three months or so for blood drive posters she would send to Tingley with me. Marlene will be missed by many.

Take care

Posted by Lois Ibbotson - Tingley, IA - Friend   June 01, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

When you hear the name Marlene Zarr, you have to smile. Now that is one lady that liked to have fun. One year on my birthday, when I unlocked the door at work - the courthouse lobby Ronald McDonald statue was on top of my desk. She may have not been the one that put it up there but I guarantee she had something to do with it. Once I made a statement that I had been looking for a hay loft ladder. Not to long after that here comes Marlene hauling a good sized ladder up the stairway for me. I still have it in my kitchen. Then when we had to come up with a password for the computer we definitely got one that we could remember using our (3) initials. We laughed about that one a long time. No doubt in my mind where she went when she left here. She was a good egg and will be missed by so many people.

Posted by Paula Rychnovsky - Rippey, IA - Friend   May 31, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Mindy,Mike, Max & families, So very sorry for your loss.Prayers & thoughts are with you & your families in this time of sorrow. I know you have to have a lot of good memories having Marlene as your Mother. When your folks lived in Kellerton in the parsonage, living close as neighbors WE had lots & lots of laughs She was a great lady & always willing to do more than her share. God Bless All of you.
Sandy Campbell & families

Posted by Sandy Campbell - Kellerton, IA - Friend   May 31, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Marlene will be missed by many. I always loved visiting with her. What a good woman! So sorry for your loss, Mike and Mindy and family. I know she must be rejoicing in heaven today!

Posted by Elaine Willis - Mt.Ayr, IA - Friend   May 29, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Mike, Mindy and Max,
Steve and I are so sorry to hear of the passing of your Mom. Please know that our Prayers and Thoughts are with your entire Family . Marlene will be greatly missed.

Posted by Steve and Debbie Giles - Lake Havasu City, AZ - Family   May 28, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Marlene always kept things lively. She loved to laugh and to make others laugh. She was a good worker for her church. We will miss her.

Posted by Joyce Smith - Mt. Ayr, IA - Friend   May 28, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Mike so sorry to her about your mom.She was a special lady always loved to see you both at the flea markets.she was always there if I needed something.glad to of met her.Will miss her.thanks for letting us know!!!!!

Posted by Dean and Dodie DeHoedt - new sharon, IA - Friend   May 28, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

everything has a season and Marlene must of loved the springtime. Always enjoyed her garage sales as she visited with her customers. Sorry for your loss.

Posted by lindar amirhq - ssummerville, SC - Acquaintance   May 28, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

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