The Ottumwa Courier


November 10, 2012

Mary Jane Whitney, 83, Fairfield

FAIRFIELD — Mary Jane Whitney, 83, of Fairfield, passed away Nov. 8, 2012, at the Jefferson County Health Center after months of declining health.

Mary Jane was born April 22, 1929, in Fairfield to Lorenzo and Ruth Larson Heston. On July 23, 1949, Mary Jane and her high school sweetheart, Lewis Whitney, were married in Memphis, Mo. Their friends J.R. and Shirley Vanatta served as best man and maid of honor.

She attended Fairfield High School and participated in many activities including band, chorus and cheerleading. Following graduation in 1947, Mary Jane attended Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill., and later the University of Iowa. Besides raising her four children, Mary Jane was involved in Eastern Star, was a past president of P.E.O. Chapter C, a member of the Fairfield Art Association and involved with the First United Methodist Church. She also worked with her husband, Lewis, at their monument business. She was responsible for some of the first personalized designs created for memorials. Mary Jane’s true passion was her art. She enjoyed painting, needle point and cross stitch. Her favorite subjects were people, Iowa barns and the Amish. She also enjoyed watching sports, whether it be the Hawkeyes or her grandson’s games.

Mary Jane was a devoted wife and a loving and supportive mother and grandmother. Her smile and kind words will be deeply missed. 

Survivors include her children, Mark Whitney of Tulsa, Okla., Anne Whitney and Kent (Ronda) Whitney, both of Fairfield, and Jaye (John) Leazer of Ft. Collins, Colo.; 10 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; her sister, Emma Lou Carter of Keosauqua; and nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Lewis; her brother, Jon Heston; and her grandson, Joshua Whitney.

A celebration of her life will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church in Fairfield; with Pastor Nate Nims officiating. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery with a luncheon following at the church.

Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Behner Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be made to the pool/gym project. Gifts in memory of Mary Jane can be dropped off at the funeral home or mailed to the Greater Jefferson County Foundation, P.O. Box 1325, Fairfield, Iowa 52556.

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