Mary Elizabeth Chenoweth Conger, an Angel on this earth, was called to join her husband, Bob, on April 2, 2013, passing away at Ottumwa Regional Health Center after an extended illness.
Mary was a life-long resident of Ottumwa with the exception of the war years when she lived and worked in San Diego, California, waiting for her husband, Bob to return from England at the wars’ end. She worked for North American Aviation and the May Company during the war effort. They returned to Ottumwa to make their home and life here.
Mary was born August 24, 1921 to Paul Walter and Elizabeth Ann Cavanaugh Chenoweth. She was a graduate of Ottumwa High School in 1939. She subsequently attended and graduated from the Iowa Success School in Ottumwa. She was employed by Bell Telephone. She married Robert Conger in San Diego, California on August 2, 1942. Later in her life she attended Indian Hills Community College and graduated in 1967 as a Licensed Practical Nurse while attending with her best friend, Maxine Rullman. She worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse for St. Joseph Hospital in long term care and at the Sunnyslope Extended Care Center, as well as doing work for insurance companies.
After returning to Ottumwa, she and Bob started their lives and their family. Mary was homemaker and devoted herself to her two daughters, Pam and Patty, and later to her two granddaughters, Lori and Lisa, and subsequently to her great-grandchildren, Chance, Mari and Marcus. Her family was her life and her second love. Her first love was Bob, her childhood sweetheart. She was a room mother, a Brownie and Girl Scout leader for her girls. She enjoyed watching her great-grandchildren participate in sports and going to Chance’s ball games. It was a joy to her.
She enjoyed vacationing at Leech Lake Minnesota with friends and family, outdoor activities such as fishing, boating and relaxing at their cabin on the Des Moines River, always with her beloved companion, Bob, at her side. She and Bob were very active in Izaak Walton League where Bob was President for a couple of years and worked the trap shoots and kitchen for many years. Bob owned and operated Bob Conger Refrigeration from the early 60’s until his death in 1985.
After Bob’s death, Mary traveled to Las Vegas frequently to visit her granddaughters, Lori and Lisa and daughter, Patty. Mary had the steadfast companionship and assistance of her daughter, Pam, when she was in Ottumwa.
Mary is survived by her two daughters, Pam Payne Kloppenburg and Patricia Conger-Woolslayer both of Ottumwa; two granddaughters, Lori Payne Atnip (Mark) Moline and Lisa Payne (Bill) Dickinson; a step-granddaughter, Corrina Woolslayer Buffington; three great-grandchildren, Chance Dickinson, Mari Atnip and Marcus Atnip.
Funeral services will be 3 p.m. Friday at Reece Funeral Home with Pastor Mel Kendall officiating. Burial will be in the Ottumwa Cemetery.
Visitation begins at 11 a.m. Thursday with the family present from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.