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Margaret Louise Lay age 94, of LaBelle, Missouri, passed away Sunday, October 11, 2020, at Salt River Care Center in Shelbina, MO.  She was born October 28, 1925, in Scotland County, Missouri, the daughter of Raymond G. and Gertrude Gladys Tull Hays.

She was united in marriage to her high school sweetheart, Julian Dale Lay on December 24, 1944, at Canton, Missouri. He preceded her in death on June 16, 2015.  Margaret was also preceded by her parents, one son, James Dale Lay and three sisters, Helen Lay, Blanche Likes and Roxie Clapp.

Surviving are, four children, Carol Lynne Robertson of Columbia, MO, Donald Joe Lay of LaBelle, MO, Neil Grier Lay and wife Debra of LaBelle, MO, and Cheryl Louise McGowan and husband Dennis of Columbia, MO, eleven grandchildren, three step grandchildren, twenty-six great grandchildren, two great great grandchildren, six step great grandchildren, one sister, Elizabeth Shutts of Knox City, MO, a brother-in-law Lowell (Phyllis) Bennett of Carrollton, MO, a daughter-in-law Susan Lay of Blakesburg, IA and several nieces and nephews.

Margaret graduated from LaBelle High School in 1944.  After graduation she and her future husband, Dale, were employed at the munitions plant in Burlington, IA, along with other local young adults, to help with the war effort.  After Dale was discharged from the Army, they began farming in the LaBelle area.

Margaret was a member of the First Christian Church at LaBelle, MO.  She was a 4-H leader, teaching sewing. She enjoyed gardening, needlework quilting and was a skilled folk art painter.

She grew up loving the outdoors, learning to swim and ice skate on the Middle Fabius River.  In high school Margaret was a baton twirler and twirled with fire during school evening activities. In her adulthood she enjoyed her children’s and grandchildren’s extracurricular activities, especially high school sports.  She also loved her beagles, Rosie and Buddy.

Graveside services were held Friday, October 16, 2020, in the LaBelle Cemetery, with Pastor Paul Harvey officiating for the services.

Casket bearers were Josh Lay, Jeffrey Lay, Michael Lay, Spencer McGowan, Connor McGowan, John Robertson, Keith Lay and Robert Lay.

Honorary bearers were Tanya Cling, Leslie Orman, Miranda Hunter, Tara Klocke, Kimberly Hatfield, Jayme Bennett, Dawn Roberts and Candace McGowan.

Memorials may be made to the LaBelle First Christian Church or the LaBelle Cemetery Coder Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 151, LaBelle, MO 63447.