Iola K (Cochran) McMorrow, 101, of Cincinnati, Iowa, passed away on March 9, 2019. Iola was born in Davis County, Iowa, on December 17, 1917, the daughter of Harley and Arminta (Henderson) Cochran, who preceded her in death. The oldest of five children, Iola graduated from Cincinnati High School in 1936, and began teaching in rural Iowa schools, where she first taught grades K-8 in the one-room Brush College.
On September 1, 1938, in Trenton MO, Iola married James R. McMorrow, a thriving young evangelist. To this union two children were born, James Stephen and Mary Kathryn (Richard) McClure.
James and Iola had an active spiritual life and always in their life together, she was by his side. Together they graduated with Bachelor of Theology degrees from Ozark Bible College in Bentonville, AR, in 1942 and from San Jose Bible College in San Jose, CA, in 1946.
Wherever James was preaching, Iola took part in all church activities and frequently taught Sunday School classes. Each summer she directed children’s Daily Vacation Bible School. She cherished teaching all ages about prayer. Often, before James’ sermon, Iola would do chalk drawings during the special numbers.
James held many Revival Meetings from Iowa to the West Coast, taking the family to explore the mountains, parks and deserts along the way. Iola made fond memories of these vacations for the whole family. When home, the day always ended with the family reading the Bible together in front of the fireplace. Iola had a strong unwavering faith in God and family, and firmly believed in the power of prayer.
After traveling for eight years in evangelistic meetings, youth camps and establishing churches, the McMorrow family settled in Ottumwa, IA, where both James and Iola taught in the Midwestern School of Evangelism, for 15 years.
The family built a new home in Cincinnati, and moved there in 1960. Iola completed her Bachelor of Science in Education, at Kirksville State Teachers College in 1969, and her Masters of Education at Northeast Missouri State College in 1974. Since the 1974/1975 school year, Iola taught 5th grade at Lakeview Elementary every year, until her retirement in 1987. During these years, she took her classes to the state capital in Des Moines.
A teacher for over 28 years, Iola was a lifelong learner. Her love of history prompted her to begin researching historical accounts of the Underground Railroad. Following retirement, Iola would share her knowledge of the Underground Railroad to Iowa and Missouri 5th graders. Iola often gave informational speeches regarding her research for the Appanoose Historical Society, and was recognized by The Historic Preservation Commission and Corporation. She was an active member of the Mercy Hospital Auxillary, receiving her 2000-hour pin. She was also a member of the Red Hat Society and the Appanoose County Arts Initiative.
Iola was a wonderful seamstress, sewing her 1st dress at the age of 8, and continued sewing for her family from that time on. She found time to sew throughout her life, sewing everything from curtains to doll clothes, and from lady’s suits to upholstering furniture. She crocheted afghans, baby blankets, and sweaters. Iola was a talented quilter, quilting blankets and bedspreads. She enjoyed working with ceramics, paper crafts, basket weaving, painting, embroidery, tie dying, candle making, beading and other jewelry creations throughout her life. Reading was a passion as well as writing stories and poetry. In 2000, she wrote a short paperback book about the Harley Cochran family. She related many fun memories and stories of her family life, school years, and family gatherings. While developing genealogy for both the Cochran and McMorrow families, she was elated to meet many cousins and unknown relatives, that fast became lifelong friends. Iola found joy in collecting family heirlooms, antiques, Ty Beanie Babies, and completing Sudoku and crossword puzzles.
Preceding her in death were son, James Stephen, May 5, 1991, and husband, James Robert, September 26, 1996. Also, preceding Iola in death were her siblings, sister Ilin Bowen, (Doris), brothers Ivan Cochran, (Darlene), Ira Cochran (Lillian), Victor Cochran (Vi); an infant sister; and Sisters-in-law, Mary Corder, (Ted), Mabel Huffman, (Mike).
Left to cherish her memory are, daughter, Mary McClure (Richard). Four grandchildren, James C. McMorrow (Dawn), of Liberty, MO, Andrea McMorrow, of Platte City, MO, LaCosta Rennells (Mike) of Columbia, MO, Lacey Rinne (Blayne) of Raymore, MO. Eleven great grandchildren: Graham, Olivia and Luke McMorrow; Blake Zimmerman; Willem, Chandler, Hillary, Collin and Adrian Rennells; Aubrey and Allie Brown. Many loving nieces and nephews, Christian friends and families, and special friend and co-worker Debbie (Mills) Damron.
Funeral services will be held at 1 PM, Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville. Burial will follow in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Cincinnati. A visitation will take place on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville, with the family greeting friends from 12-1 PM. Memorials have been established to either Mercy Medical Center-Long Term Care, or to EveryStep Hospice and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. Condolences may be shared online at www.langefh.com.
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