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Obituary for Laura B. Gries
Mapleton, IA - Laura B. Gries of Mapleton, Iowa passed away Sunday, November 17, 2013 at Maple Heights Nursing Home in Mapleton, Iowa just 6 days prior to her 98th birthday. Services will be Friday, November 22, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John's United Methodist Church in Mapleton with Pastor Brian McNamara officiating. Burial will be in St. Clair Cemetery at Ute, Iowa. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Condolences may be directed to the family on line at www.armstrongfuneral.com. Laura Bertha Gries was born November 23, 1915, at Blencoe, Iowa, the daughter of Alfred Taylor and Rose (Cox) Gray. She grew up in the Blencoe area and attended Ashton Country School through the eighth grade. On May 29, 1934, Laura was united in marriage to Clarence A. Gries at Sioux City, Iowa. The couple first made their home in Grant Center, Iowa and due to Clarence's job with the Milwaukee Railroad, the family moved to Mapleton in 1951. Along with caring for her family, Laura enjoyed sewing, crocheting and gardening. She thrilled little girls and boys by making Barbie and Ken doll clothes for over 40 years. She was also known for the many beautiful baby quilts she designed and created. Clarence passed away March 17, 1990. Laura continued to live and flourish in their home in Mapleton until a dark night of devastation came April 9, 2011 when a tornado demolished her beloved home. Laura was 94 at the time. Instead of giving up she was the first Mapleton resident to obtain a building permit and with the dedicated help of family and friends, her home was rebuilt from the ground up in just 87 days, a story that was acknowledged in the Sioux City Journal. Laura continued to live there until entering the nursing home this past March. She was a member of St. John's United Methodist Church and was active in the ladies group there. Loving family members surviving Laura are her daughter, Lois Olsen of Onawa, Iowa; two sons and their wives, Al and Betty Gries of Sioux City, Iowa and Dennis and Debra Gries of New Braunfers, Texas; a daughter-in-law, Jeanetta Gries of Amboy, Iowa; 13 grandchildren; 24 great grandchildren; and eight great great grandchildren. Along with her husband, Laura was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Frank; a son-in-law, Rev. Philip Olsen; seven brothers, Charles, Marshall, Samuel. Howard, Alfred, Robert, and infant brother, James; and one sister, Mildred Jones Holscaw.