Marion Evan Rayl was born Oct. 17, 1935, to Ferol Rayl and (Pluma) Bernice Evans, in their home in rural Afton. He passed away peacefully Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at Luther Park Trinity Center Community in Des Moines at the age of 85.
Evan was raised on his parents’ farm in rural Afton and graduated from the Afton High School in 1954. Evan was active in 4-H and the high school yearbook staff and played baseball while growing up.
After high school, Evan attended Iowa State University, graduating in 1958. He worked for the Adair County Extension Service in Greenfield, one summer where he met the love of his life, Shirley Jean Queck. They were married on Monday, Oct. 17, 1960, which was Evan’s birthday. That day was also Shirley’s grandfather, Charlie Queck’s birthday, and the anniversary of her grandparents, Charlie and Oteilie Queck.
In August of 1962, their daughter Renae Jean was born. Two years later in August, their first son, Thomas Evan, was born. Steven Evan was born in March 1970.
He served as a 4-H leader for 10 years, starting the Summit Superstars Boys Club in Adair County. He was always their biggest fan and loved being grandpa to his five grandchildren and great-grandson. His proudest moments were watching them participate in their activities and was especially proud to have three grandsons who all achieved Eagle Scout.
Evan had several entrepreneurial pursuits, the most notable being Iowa Star Silos and Rayl Farms. He was also a gifted writer and storyteller, regularly contributing articles to Livestock Plus. It has been said that he was one of greatest Angus minds in the country. In 2000 and 2001 he served as the President of the Iowa Angus Association.
Evan was an active member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Fontanelle, Immanuel Lutheran in Greenfield, Immanuel Lutheran in Adair, and a charter member of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Adair. He and Shirley were members of the Stock Shufflers Club in Adair.
Left to cherish his beautiful memory are: his daughter, Renae (Edward) Chesnut of Johnston; son, Thomas (Jody) Rayl of Mitchellville; son, Steven (Dawn) Rayl of Altoona; grandchildren: Blane Chesnut of Carter Lake, Brooke Rayl (Jeremy) Heimbaugh of Mitchellville, Taylor Chesnut of St. Louis, Missouri, Wyatt Rayl of Ames, and Garrett Rayl of Altoona; great-grandchild, Gannon Heimbaugh of Mitchellville.
He is also survived by his sister, Karen Rayl Sawhill of Urbandale; sister-in-law, Chyleen and husband Paul Pauesick of Kansas City, Kansas; brother-in-law, Lyle Lutz of Falcon Heights, Minnesota; sister-in-law, Margaret Queck of Corning; and many nieces and nephews.
Evan was welcomed into heaven by his wife, Shirley; parents, Ferol and Bernice; parents-in-law, Harold and Evelyn Queck; sister-in-law, Lavon Lutz; and brothers-in-law, Allen Howard, John Sawhill, and Gerald Queck.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Fontanelle, with burial in the Fontanelle Cemetery. Steen Funeral Home in Fontanelle is in charge of the professional arrangements. Online condolences may be left to the family at www.steenfunerals.com.