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Fontanini, Mary Ellen Dunaway 1938-2021


Posted By: Volunteer Transcriber
Date: 4/27/2021 at 21:09:06

Mary Dunaway Fontanini

Mary Ellen (Dunaway) Fontanini, daughter of Norman and Ellen (Horman) Dunaway, was born Dec. 1, 1938, near Monroe. She gained her release from this world at Jefferson, Wis., at the age of 82, on Saturday, April 10, 2021. Her children were with her during her last days.

Mary spent her early years on a farm east of Monroe, attended a one-room country school and graduated from Monroe High School in 1957. She married Gary Heaberlin in June, 1958. They had four children, Alan, Carol, Dennis and Julie. After 30 years as an aide at the Veterans Hospital in Knoxville, Mary retired. She was much appreciated by the Veterans for her gentle care. On game days, Mary would proudly wear her Iowa State Cyclone “duds” at work even while out-numbered by the black and gold of the Hawkeyes. Within a couple of months of retirement, she was back at work part-time as the “Breakfast and Lunch Lady” at a Knoxville Elementary School. She was much loved by the children there. As her daughter tells it, when they would go to Walmart, little kids would see her and yell out, “Hi Mary!” Wherever she worked, she worked hard and showed she cared and her biggest rewards were those “Hi Mary’s.”

Mary is survived by her children, Alan (Carolyn) Heaberlin, Carol Lapp, Dennis (Debbie) Heaberlin and Julie (Dick) Smith. Also, grandchildren, Melissa Jo (Brian) Coy, Jessica (Will) Thomas and Curtis (Ashley), Christopher and Caleb (Tory) Kindred; and 14 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her beloved furry dog, Dexter … always by her side. She also leaves brother, Jim (Rita) Dunaway; sister, Norma Nash; brother, Bob (Marvel) Dunaway; and a number of nieces and nephews. Mary was preceded in death by her parents; a grandson, Joseph Patrick Lapp; and son-in-law, Patrick Lapp.

A celebration of life gathering will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 9 at the community room at the Monroe City Hall, with lunch at noon. ~ The Newton (IA) Daily News 13 April 2021.


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