Funeral service for Marjorie Rainwater will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, June 30, 2023 at First United Methodist Church with Pastor Corey Young officiating; interment to follow at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery. Visitation will take place from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., Thursday, June 29, 2023 at Walker Funeral Home. Marjorie Rainwater age 96, passed away peacefully on June 27, 2023 at The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center.
Marjorie Louella Rainwater was born May 19, 1927 in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, the only child of Jonathan Roy Jones and Bertha Francs Jackson Jones. At age 9 she adopted the name of her stepfather, Akins.
The family moved to Afton, Oklahoma, for two years and then to Tulsa. She graduated from Tulsa Central High School in 1945. As a young child ballet student, she performed with a group of Sapulpa and Tulsa girls and young women with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. As a senior in high school, she presented a private piano recital which included Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Tchaikovsky’s “Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor.” She majored in music at Lindenwood College in Saint Charles, Missouri, for a year followed by a year at the University of Tulsa. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota honorary music fraternity and Delta Gamma sorority. She is also a member and past president of Chapter V, P.E.O.
She married Jeral David Rainwater July 18, 1947 in Tulsa. They have two sons and one daughter. In 1960 the family moved to Houston. She was a cub scout den mother in Tulsa and Houston and a girl scout leader for several years in Houston. The Rainwaters volunteered in Congressman George Bush campaigns and became active in the Republican Party.
Jeral was transferred to Gillette in 1974, followed by Marjorie in 1975 when housing became available. She immediately became active in Republican Women and the Republican Party as a precinct committeewoman. Eventually she was elected State Committeewoman, County Chairman, and National Committeewoman for Wyoming. In January, 2013 Campbell County Republican Women members surprised her with a special Lifetime Membership Award.
Marjorie served as state chairman for George H. W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 1988 and 1992. In 1988 she was elected one of Wyoming’s three presidential electors and cast her vote for President Bush. In March of 1989 she was a guest of President and Mrs. Bush for lunch in the State Dining Room at the White House with other state and regional campaign chairmen. Earlier she was a guest of President and Mrs. Reagan at a White House reception and of both Vice President Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle at receptions in the Vice President residence.
She was a delegate to several national conventions. She was elected Wyoming delegate-at-large to the 1979 Republican Women Convention in Indianapolis and was in charge of the Wyoming hospitality room at their convention in Denver in 1981. She was elected Wyoming delegate to the Republican National Convention in Dallas in 1984 where she was a member of the Rules and Order Business Committee. She was Wyoming’s member of the Committee of Arrangements of the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans. The Rainwaters and their Houston family were guests of the Wyoming Republican Party to the 1992 National Convention in Houston.
Marjorie and Jeral attended the 1981 Reagan/ Bush and the 1989 Bush/Quayle inaugurations. They received personal invitations to the dinner and entertainment the day before the dedication of the George H. W. Bush Library in College Station, Texas, and were given additional invitations for their son, David, and grandson, Bradley, for the dedication itself. She and Bradley attended the 2001 Bush/Cheney inauguration.
In 1981 Wyoming Jayceettes nominated Marjorie for their National Women in Government Award. They listed her volunteer work in Houston as well as that in Gillette, including Campbell County’s first one per cent sales tax campaign, the first Madison Water Project, various board positions and her work in the Republican Party. She was one of five women who received the award nationally and the only one west of the Mississippi River. She was further honored when Mayor Mike Enzi declared a “Women in Government” day in her honor.
She loved to travel and visited all forty-eight lower states, Australia, Europe, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, Russia, and with an RNC group invited to Taiwan. Usually when she and Jeral went to Europe they also visited with their daughter, son-in-law, and their family while he served in England and Germany in the Air Force. She and Jeral also enjoyed playing bridge in Tulsa, Houston, and Gillette
She is survived by her sons, Jeral David, Jr. and Dennis Troy (Judy) of Houston; and daughter, Ellen Beth (Jack) Robison of Gillette; grandchildren, Stephanie and Melissa Robison, Marcy (Nick) Mathis of Gillette, WY; Susan (Will) Dowd of Laramie; Bradley Rainwater and Melodi (Nick) Duncan of Houston; and great-grandson, Micah Mathis of Gillette. She is preceded in death by her mother and husband of 70 years. In lieu of flowers, donations to Campbell County Library Foundation, Campbell County Senior Center, First United Methodist Church, or a charity of your choice would be appreciated. Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Walker Funeral Home 410 Medical Arts Court, Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be expressed at www.walkerfuneralgillette.com