Loraine Colman McKay

Loraine Colman McKay (Atkinson) (83) passed away on December 13, 2022. Loraine was

born on July 22, 1939, in Parkersburg, WV, to Theodore and Mary (Callihan) Atkinson. After Loraine graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1958, she served our country in the Women’s Auxiliary Corps. There she met Ronald J. Colman, and they were married on October 31, 1959. During their 30 years of marriage, they raised two daughters, Heidi Ann and Merry-Noel. After Ronald’s death, Loraine found love again and married Austin F. McKay on September 1, 1992. Austin brought to the family two daughters, Annie and Louisa.

Loraine’s first and last employment involved her love of books. When her children were old enough, she quit being a homemaker and became a supervisor for the U.S. Army Main Library in Heidelberg, Germany. Then, she served several years for the Civilian Payroll Division as the Payroll Supervisor for the Department of Defense and was rewarded for her service in 1991. Upon retirement, Loraine returned to her passion for reading and with a dream to share her love of books, she helped establish the St. Charles Public Library, St. Charles, Iowa in 2001. Loraine received the Governor’s Volunteer Award for reading The Des Moines Register to the blind and print handicapped for Iowa Radio Reading Information Service in 2007. She volunteered in the Project Connect Mentoring Program in 2010 and was recognized by the Internal Revenue Service for public service for helping prepare tax forms and provide tax counseling

for the elderly in 2013. Loraine also received the Quilt of Valor in 2019. She was the Head Librarian for her retirement community in Des Moines, Iowa, before moving to Fairfield, Iowa.

Loraine is predeceased by her father, Theodore M. Atkinson, and her mother, Mary L. Rhodes (Callihan); brothers, David Atkinson and Homer Rhodes; nephew Troy Rhodes and both her husbands: Ronald J. Colman and Austin F. McKay.

Loraine is survived by her daughters, Heidi (Mark) Unkrich, Merry-Noel (Martin) Chamberlain, Annie (James) Pelzman, Louisa (Frank) Buford DeJarnette; sisters, Sandy Kenny, Crystal (David) DeLong and Linda Welch; grandchildren, Royene (Phillip) Bozek, Eric (Amanda) Pelzman, Audrey (Ryan) Smith, Emily (Nick) Fraser, and Ashleah; great grandchildren, Kassidy, Phillip, Mallory, Jozlyn, Collette, Quinnlyn, Noelle, Jonas, Mirah, Alton; and great-great granddaughter, Aurora; plus, nieces, nephew, and several cousins.

A graveside service will be held at Iowa Veterans Cemetery, Van Meter, Iowa at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 19, 2022.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the St. Charles Public Library, 113 S. Lumber St., St. Charles, IA 50240.

“Anything that increases the intelligence level of a community is a benefit,” said Loraine McKay. “You sponsor interesting programs for children, for seniors, for everybody. If you don’t do well for the children in your community, you might as well close your town.”