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Mary's Story

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Mary Margaret Murphy was born on June 4, 1931, in Melrose Iowa the first of six living children to Francis and Catherine (Bingaman) Murphy. This light haired girl could read before she went to school in Melrose and lived there until she was nine years of age when her father moved his barber business to Albia, Iowa in 1940. Times were tough with so many at the war and he took a job at the Veterans Hospital and moved the family to Knoxville, Iowa. At an early age Mary developed a love of reading and read all she could. She loved good books, poetry and knowledge. She graduated high school in Knoxville in 1949 and taught a year of kindergarten with her youngest brother, Donald, in her class before she moved to Des Moines, Iowa and worked at Mercy Hospital. Mary met Rex Eddleman at the skating rink and they married in 1951 and they welcomed three girls and a son that was lost at four days of age. Mary worked part time and then full time at the Veterans Hospital in the food service department. Life got hard and she raised her three daughters as a single parent with help from her family. Children's bedtime stories were the best Bible stories read aloud. She taught her daughters the value of an education and financial independence. Mary cared for any child and was known to help others with food and groceries handed out of the kitchen. She was generous with her time and resources and had a treasure trove of recounted stories from her memories and experiences. Mary worked to age of 60 years and retired with 27 years of service at the VA . She did child care for her grandchildren and spent more time engaged in her passion of reading books. During the past four years she had read some 1,700 books. She was an avid Facebook and email connected person and had many friends online over the years. She was a good mother, grandmother, and served her family well. Mary passed away early Sunday morning, September 3, 2017, at the Knoxville Hospital & Clinics in Knoxville. Her final act of generosity was to be able to be an Iowa Donor Network tissue donor at 86 years of age. She would be pretty tickled about that! Mary is survived by her three daughters: Barbara (John J.) Anderson of Knoxville, Raye and her husband, Daniel Nilius of Pottsboro, Texas, Gerry and her husband, Michael Osweiler of Olympia, Washington; grandchildren: Bryan Schlotterback, John A. Anderson, Thad Anderson, Scott Nilius, Melanie Nilius Nowlin, and Jennifer Osweiler; and 11 great-grandchildren. Of her original family she leaves her sister, Lois and her husband, Clair Rankin of Knoxville and two brothers: Gene Murphy and his wife, JoAnn of Lovington, New Mexico and James F. Murphy of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Francis and Catherine Murphy; her son, Rex Eddleman, Jr. and a son-in-law John J. Anderson; and two brothers: Michael Murphy and Donald Murphy. A Funeral Mass was held on Friday, September 8, at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Knoxville. Williams Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Published on September 11, 2017
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