Retha Marrie Conley was born March 3, 1923 to Cora Belle Keller and Thomas Hartford Conley, at home, northwest of Knowlton, moving into Knowlton when she was three weeks old. She was welcomed into the family by a sister, Vesta Maxine. The family later welcomed Gilbert Gail, who died in infancy, Donald Everett, Marjorie Geraldine and Ronald Lee.
Retha graduated from the Diagonal high school with her brother, Donald; both graduating in the same class. Retha worked at Henry Field Nursery in Shenandoah, Iowa for nine years; at Places Store in Mount Ayr, Iowa for two years; at the Mount Ayr Cap Factory, and she baby-sat with a host of children — being with the Jack Taylor family for six years and seeing three of them start school.
She enjoyed attending church in Diagonal, Iowa and the quilting sessions with the women of the church.
On September 22, 1982 she married Vincent Wesley Herrold at the home of his sister and brother-in-law, Ruth and Chris Didricksen, near Gravity, Iowa. Together they enjoyed the farm life until his death on June 2, 2000 at the age of 77 years. On April 23, 2006 she purchased a home in Mount Ayr where she lived until entering the Mount Ayr Health Care Center on November 3, 2010.
Retha passed away at the Health Care Center on February 13, 2011. She was preceded in death by her husband, Vincent; mother, Cora Belle Conley Byerly; father, Thomas Hartford Conley; stepfather, Claude Byerly; sisters, Vesta Maxine and Marjorie Geraldine, and brother, Donald Everett.
Retha is survived by her brother, Ronald Lee and wife Betty Conley of Mount Ayr, Iowa; sister-in-law, Ruth Didricksen of Gravity, Iowa, and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial fund has been established in her name to be decided later.
Services were conducted at the Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Thursday, February 17, 2011, with Rev. Bruce Giese officiating. Musicians included Judy Newton and Shelly Mason.
Casket bearers were Jack Taylor, Jim Taylor, Gary Sobotka, Shon Berry, Chris Eaton and Dick Taylor.
Retha was laid at rest in the Knowlton Cemetery in Diagonal.