The Ottumwa Courier

January 17, 2013

Mary Chickering, 85, Ottumwa


OTTUMWA — Mary Maxine Chickering, 85, of Ottumwa, died January 15, 2013 at her home with family by her side.

She was born May 18, 1927 in Wapello County, IA to James W. and Mary Elizabeth Ware Leonard. On Valentine’s Day, 1947 she married John Frederick Chickering, who would be her husband for 53 years until his death on September 2, 2000.

After her children were well on their way, she worked at Langley Optical for 17 years.

She was a longtime member of Willard St. United Methodist Church and an active member of the Sarah Circle.

Mary and John started square dancing with the “Dudes and Dolls” in the 50’s and later danced with the “B Squares” where they found great enjoyment and made many lifelong friends.  For the last 13 years, she found comfort and friendship in her grief support group following the death of her husband.

Surviving are her three children, Susan (Rodney) Kueneman of Winnipeg, Canada, Bill Chickering of Dunkerton and Allen Chickering of Ottumwa; 5 grandchildren, Mandy, Salena, Bill, Joe and Tyrone; 3 great-grandchildren, Emma, Spencer and Ava; and a sister, Ruth Ashworth of Rockford, IL. She will also be sadly missed by many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by five sisters, Margaret Nichols, Genevieve Zwer, Dorothy Harshbarger, her twin Donna Anderson and Betty Denny; three brothers, John, Bill, and James Leonard.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Reece Funeral Home with Hospice Chaplain and her nephew, Pastor Jeremy Skinner and Rev. Leila Disburg officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Lawn Cemetery.

Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Friday with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

Pallbearers will be Larry and Richard Zwer, Don Cone, Terry Leonard, Chuck Granneman and Tom Evland.

The family would like to thank the staff at Good Samaritan Society-Ottumwa and the staff at the Good Samaritan Home Health and Hospice for the warm care they provided to Mary.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Willard St. United Methodist Church or Heartland Humane Society, PO Box 1149, Ottumwa, IA 52501.

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