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Mary Mortensen

May 26, 1927 August 19, 2019
Mary Mortensen
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Obituary for Mary Mortensen

Mary (Leigh) Mortensen, 92, formerly of Fort Dodge and Spirit Lake, died peacefully at the Martin Center in Cedar Falls, on August 19, 2019. She was preceded in death by her parents, Fred C. and Myrtle Leigh, her husband, James Mortensen, Sr., and her brother, Dr. Fred D. Leigh. Mrs. Mortensen is survived by her five children: Linda Adams of Waterloo and her husband Tom, James Mortensen, Jr. of Melbourne, Florida, Sarah Ruden of Dubuque, Steven Mortensen of Reston, Virginia and his wife Susan, and Dr. John Mortensen of West Allis, Wisconsin and his girlfriend Sarah Millay; her six grandchildren: Carrie Buschmann and her husband Dirk; Casey Adams and his wife Jennifer, Jeremy Hall and his wife Kelly, Rachel Kennedy and her husband Joshua, Audrey Ruden, and Matthew Mortensen; and her five great-grandchildren: McKenzie Adams and her boyfriend Brian Smith, Lilly Adams, Laynie Adams, Libby Adams, and Laycie Adams. A sixth great-grandchild is due in September.
Mrs. Mortensen was born on May 26, 1927, in Freeport, Illinois, and was raised in Mount Carroll, Illinois. She graduated in 1949 from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and taught second grade for three years in Clinton, where she met her husband. The couple married in 1952 and ultimately settled in Fort Dodge, where they lived for 21 years. She was employed part time by the Fort Dodge Public School System as a substitute teacher and cafeteria worker and was a member of the Methodist Church and the P.E.O. Sisterhood. In 1985, she and her husband retired to Spirit Lake, where she resided until 2008, before moving to the Western Home in Cedar Falls.
Mrs. Mortensen was a devoted mother and enjoyed spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She valued her many friendships. Her interests included music, the performing arts, movies, and shopping. Her volunteer work included reading with children and staffing a local art museum.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Mary Mortensen’s memory may be made directly to the First United Methodist Church in Fort Dodge or Spirit Lake United Methodist Church.
Funeral arrangements will be made by Hagarty Waychoff Grarup Funeral Service on South Street in Waterloo. Funeral services will be held in Spirit Lake in a private ceremony with family. She will be laid to rest alongside her husband in Lakeview Gardens Cemetery, Spirit Lake.


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