OBITUARY ~ VERA LOIS (RAY) STREAM
August 20, 1919 ~ March 22, 2011
Vera Lois (RAY) STREAM passed away at Legacy Lodge in Chariton, Iowa, at the age of 91. Vera was born August 20, 1919, in
Clarke county to Joe and Essie Leona (ONIE) RAY, one of seven children.
She attended school in Thayer, Iowa, and graduated at age 16. Her lifelong dream was to be a teacher. Growing up, she
would arrange the chairs in her house like the desks in a schoolhouse, and teach to the chairs. She began teaching school
at age 18, after receiving her teaching certificate from Simpson College. She recalled going to school early in the
morning to build a fire in the stove and cook breakfast for the children. At night, the children would take turns
inviting her home for dinner and to spend the night. She began teaching in Pleasant Township, and then after a year,
started teaching in Spaulding township, where she met Allen STREAM. She then taught at Delphus (sic, should be Delphos),
and then Ellston before staying a while at Shannon City, and then finally ending at East Union, for a career totaling
42 years. While teaching at Ellston, Vera, standing at 4' 11", became the girls 6 on 6 basketball coach. This underdog
team had to face the state contenders from Mt. Ayr, with a powerful coach and sharpshooting star, handing Mt. Ayr perhaps
its only defeat of the season!
Vera married Allen Leslie STREAM on April 30, 1943, and moved to a farm outside Shannon City, Iowa. They were blessed
with two sons, Sherman Allen in April of 1946, and Rodney Ray in August of 1947. Throughout teaching and raising a
family, she commuted to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on nights and weekends, taking 3 hours of coursework each
semester towards a Bachelor's degree in Teaching Education. Her goal was to graduate with a four-year degree before her
sons did, and she accomplished this goal in 1966 after commuting for over 20 years.
An avid reader, Vera often read a book a day and recalled that the most rewarding thing about teaching was teaching
children to read. She said the most fun thing she did during her life was taking a trip with her son, Rod and wife Sue
and their 2-year-old daughter to Hawaii and New Zealand for a two week excursion. Vera was a faithful member of the
Shannon City Methodist Church for many, many years. Vera loved sewing, often opting to sew a new outfit to wear the next
day when the laundry needed to be done! In her later years, Vera would keep the grandchildren supplied with handmade
sleepwear and every woman in the family stocked up on brightly decorated sweatshirts to wear, and new handmade jewelry.
Vera's competitive streak did not end with basketball. She was just as talented and driven to win at cards. Family time
was best spent playing hearts, with only Vera being allowed to keep score. Special occasions and holidays were always
spent first enjoying her wonderful cooking and then playing cards until early morning.
Vera is survived by her sons, Sherman (Gayle) of Cave City, Kentucky, and Rodney (Sue) of Chariton, Iowa; her
grandchildren Shawn (Machelle) STREAM of Norwalk, Iowa; Shannon (Michael) PAPE of Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Lisa (Lucas)
BEVERLIN of Hillsboro, Oregon; and Sarah STREAM of Chariton, Iowa. Vera is blessed with seven great-grandchildren, and
one great-great grandchild. Vera is also survived by her sisters Dorothy BROWN and Ethelyene RAY, both of Creston, Iowa,
and twelve nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Allen; her parents, Joe Ray and Essie Leona RAY (ONIE); her grandson Sgt. Scott
STREAM; her sisters, Grace and Gladys; and her brothers, Joe and Keith.
Memorials may be directed to the Shannon City Community Church.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, July of 2011
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