Iona Ytzen Ray, 98, passed away peacefully at home on May 11, 2019. She was born on December 4, 1920, in Swaledale, Iowa, to Chris and Caroline Swenson Ytzen. She attended schools in Clinton and Swaledale, graduating from Swaledale High School in 1938. She ran her grandfather’s meat market for a year before attending nursing school at St. Joseph Mercy College of Nursing in Sioux City, Iowa, where she graduated in 1942.
She joined the Navy in July 1943 as a nurse and was stationed in Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn. She was honorably discharged in January 1945.
She married Dale Floy in December 1944 in Sanford, Fla. Dale died in an automobile accident in December 1945.
Iona received specialized polio care training at Sister Kenny Polio Institute in Minneapolis from January 1948 through January 1950, and was sent across the country to areas of polio outbreaks.
On June 10, 1950, she married Isaac Earl Ray in Jamestown, N.Y.
Earl was in the Navy so they moved often, living in New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Midway Island in the Pacific, and many areas of California. Iona continued to work as a nurse and retired from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1969.
Iona enjoyed many activities over the years including square dancing, bowling, gardening, and watercolor painting. In later years, she enjoyed playing pinochle. Camping was always a major family enjoyment.
She was an active member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Livermore since 1962.
Iona was preceded in death by her parents Chris and Caroline Swenson Ytzen; two husbands, Dale Floy in 1945 and Earl Ray in 1990; brother Lowell Ytzen; and a son-in-law Ron Huhn.
She is survived by three daughters: Mona (Gary) Wirth of Columbus, Ind., Cathy Huhn of Mt. Clemons, Mich., and Becki (Craig) Watters of Fresno, Calif.; six grandchildren: Trent (Cinde) Wirth and Monica Wirth of Columbus, Kelly Huhn of Anniston, Ala., Kimberly Rawn of Clovis, Calif., Sean Watters of San Francisco, Calif., and Jessica Watters of San Diego, Calif.; and five great-grandchildren: Lauren and Ryan Wirth, and Katelyn, Chloe and Nathan Rawn.
Burial will be in Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno. Services will be scheduled at a later date.