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Arlene Mae McGary

(Aug. 1, 1918 - Sept. 17, 2013)

Arlene Mae McGary, 95, of Cody, died peacefully Sept. 17, 2013, at West Park Hospital in Cody.

She was born Aug. 1, 1918, in Blue Springs, Neb., to Howard and Cora Raney. She recently celebrated her 95th birthday with a family picnic, one of her favorite things.

Arlene moved to Powell with her family at a young age and resided there until she married the love of her life, Earl McGary, on June 7, 1935. They moved to Cody, where they leased a farm on the Southfork. A daughter, Norma Jean, was born in 1936. The family lived in several places while Earl worked in construction, and for a short time lived in California, where their son, Dennis Earl, was born in 1942. They were too homesick for Wyoming and moved back to Cody before Dennis was a year old, and they lived there until Earl retired. They also lived in Burlington for a short time.

Arlene enjoyed gardening, sewing, playing cards with their couples card group, and Arlene and Earl loved dancing. It was their favorite thing to do for years. Her other passion was keeping her scrapbooks and photo albums. She kept every news item, including weddings, funerals, births and accomplishments, about every child and grandchild, niece, nephew and friend. Every keepsake was in a scrapbook, and every picture was labeled and placed methodically in a photo album with great care. She also enjoyed collecting the family history of both the McGarys and the Raneys.

Arlene was a member of the Ishawooa Ladies Club and the Burlington Friendly Circle. She worked at several businesses in town, including Cody Trading, Woolworth’s, J.C. Penney, Anthony’s, The Vogue Shop and 13 years as the bookkeeper for Gordon’s Husky.

Arlene is survived by her daughter, Norma Jean (Don A) and her son Dennis (Judie) both of Cody; four grandchildren, Debra Nilsen of Cody, Brian Ward of Canton, Okla., Suzanne Palmer of Cody and Sean (Michaela) McGary of Liberty Lake, Wash.; nine great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband Earl; parents, Howard and Cora Raney; sister Opal Hackney and brother Archie Raney.

Services will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Cody United Methodist Church. Viewing will precede the service from 10-11 a.m. Burial will be at 2 p.m. in Crown Hill Cemetery in Powell.

An online memorial is available at

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