Alice “Toni” Ganger, the daughter of Richard and Nellie (Watson) DeWaay, was born January 6, 1929, in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada. Her childhood years were spent on her grandfather’s farm near Archer, Iowa, with her sister and seven brothers. She graduated from Archer High School, and later from Westmar College in Le Mars, Iowa, with a teaching degree.
Toni began her career in Peterson, Iowa teaching fourth grade. It was during this time that she met Chuck Ganger. Chuck and Toni went on to marry and celebrate 63 years together. They were blessed with three children, Dude, Ann and Mary. After moving the family to Cherokee, Iowa, Toni enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom for several years. She was a wonderful quilter and seamstress, and her girls remember her looking at a dress in a magazine at sewing it! She had beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. Her huge raspberry bushes and strawberry patch helped her spoil the family with homemade jams. Toni especially loved the family camping weekends as they traveled extensively, camping their way across America. She later worked for the Lemley and Carlson Vet Clinic. She and Chuck raised Collies, and her love of animals made this job perfect for her. She was a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cherokee, and added a beautiful voice to the choir. She will also be remembered for her help with the Sunday School Music Department.
Toni passed away at The Gardens in Cherokee on Thursday, May 31, 2018, at the age of 89. Her husband, Chuck, preceded her in death in 2013.
Left to cherish memories of wonderful Christmas dinner celebrations, Thanksgiving feasts and many recipes the family can’t seem to replicate, are her children: Charles “Dude” and Lori Ganger, Ann and Jamie Ganger-Chess, and Mary and Kristy Ganger; two grandchildren, Kate Ganger and Charlie Ganger; one brother, Claire DeWaay and his wife, Carol; a sister-in-law, Theora DeWaay; many nieces, nephews and friends. After suffering strokes, Toni struggled with dementia. The slow progression gave her family many years to enjoy her personality, charm, and wonderful sense of humor. But slowly, our mother and grandmother seemed to disappear. The family cannot thank enough the wonderful support from the people at The Gardens. In the end, the Hospice Staff was there to support each family member through our loss. The family would appreciate any memorial donations be directed to Hospice of Cherokee and Cherokee Regional Medical Center.