Margaret Whaley Molander

Margaret Evelyn Whaley Molander, 91 of Mount Pleasant, Iowa died Friday, January 29,2021 at Park Place Elder Living after a courageous battle with chronic kidney disease.  A private family gathering will be held at a later date.  No public service is planned.

Margaret was born December 25, 1929, the daughter of Maynard and Alice Johnson Whaley, in Mount Pleasant. She lived her entire life as a homemaker in Henry County.  She called Oakland Mills her home.  It held a special place in her heart throughout her life, where she often sought to enjoy solace and reminisce.  She was married to Leonard “Bud” Molander from December 9, 1948 to June 20, 1993.

She belonged to the Oakland Mills Community Church and the Swedesburg Lutheran Church where she faithfully served the Lord in social ministry and as a follower of Jesus Christ. One parting expression she often shared was, “God be with you.”

Margaret enjoyed arts and culture. She was instrumental in starting the first art group for the Mount Pleasant area, which enriched her entire life.  She attended art seminars at Iowa Wesleyan University to learn new techniques. Many of her paintings and works were gifts to her family and friends and she received some contest awards at events in Southeast Iowa and from personal sales. Her most heartfelt collection was a series of five Oakland mills pieces spanning its historical time periods. She donated them to the Henry County Conservation Department Nature Center where they are displaced.

Margaret created the design chosen for Mount Pleasant’s Central Park fountain, dedicated as the Ed King Memorial Fountain.

She designed her own memorial gravestone, built by Case Memorial in Mount Pleasant, which is a unique granite bench in the Oakland Mills Cemetery, she described as “a welcome for visitors to sit and rest a spell.”

Margaret was involved in the 1968 organization called the “Society for the Preservation of Folk, Tent and Repertoire Theatre” to raise the funds to build the Theatre Museum now standing at Old Threshers, which houses the Schaffer “Toby & Suzie” collection and a theatre.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents and brother.  Her husband of 45 years and father of her four children, passed in 2006 subsequent to their divorce.

Left to cherish her memory are four childresn, Susanne Waterhouse of Winfield, Iowa, Dianne Molander of Altoona, Iowa, Chuck and Emily Molander of Harlem, Ga, and Bill and Jean Molander of Weeki Wachee, Fla, 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, plus one half sisters, two sisters-in-law and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Iowa Cremation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Condolences may be mailed to Dianne Molander, 3229 Fourth Ave. SE, Altoona, IA 50009, or text 319-931-2915 or online at