Mary Frances Pierce, 75
Mary Frances Pierce of Waucoma, IA died Monday, February 24, 2020 at Linn Haven Rehab and Healthcare in New Hampton.
Friends may greet the family from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at the Northeast Iowa Antique Engine and Power Group in Fredericksburg.
Interment will be held at a later date. Hugeback Johnson Funeral Home and Crematory of Fredericksburg is entrusted with arrangements.
Mary Pierce’s well-lived life began on Aug. 15, 1944, the day she was born to Herbert and Marie (Gebel) Schupanitz, in Ionia. She grew up in a home with three brothers and one sister, and began her school in Ionia before attending St. Joseph Community School in New Hampton and graduated from New Hampton High School.
She went to work for the Power Sewing Group in Waterloo before taking a job at the A&P Egg Plant in New Hampton, but her life changed forever on the night she met George Pierce, who was out having a drink or two with a buddy. “She chased me until I caught her,” George liked to say. It was one of those matches made in heaven, and on Dec. 29, 1965, the two began a 54-year marriage that was filled with hard work, fun and joy. They stood side-by-side during tough times and they celebrated life’s triumphs together.
George turned the city girl into a farm girl, and Mary was right there with George when it came to driving tractor, feeding cattle or any other farm chore.
She loved to go fishing and hunting with her husband; in fact, the first time they went hunting together, Mary brought her brother’s double-barreled shotgun with her. Over the years, they spent countless hours on lakes in Iowa and Minnesota and in the woods hunting rabbits, squirrels and pheasants, just to name a few.
Mary spent 30-plus years as the bookkeeper at the Fredericksburg Farmers Cooperative before retiring in the late 2000s.
Mary and George did not have any children of their own, but ask any of their nephews and nieces about their Aunt Mary, and they will come up with a one-word answer: “Fun.” She was, quite simply a gem, who took her nephews, for example, to their first-ever Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field in the 1970s.
She was a big fan of the Cubs, and in 2016, she celebrated their first World Series title in her lifetime. Her husband was not a baseball fan; in fact, he liked to tell Mary that “watching the Cubs is like watching the corn grow,” but on that point, at least, the two agreed to disagree.
Mary also loved to play card games like Euchre, Scrabble and Words with Friends, and trust us, she was competitive, or as her family put it, “she hated to lose.” Mary and George also loved to go to antique fairs, or “junking” as they put it, and they collected hundreds of miniature gas lanterns.
Mary was diagnosed with cancer just before this past Christmas, and it hit her fast and hard.
But her husband will tell you that “we had 54 good years together,” and he’ll mean every word of it. She will be missed by George, her family and her friends, but they are comforted by the scores of great Mary stories they can tell.
Mary is survived by her husband George Pierce of Waucoma, IA; one brother, Leo (Irene) Schupanitz of Mason City; one sister Margaret of Waterloo, IA; three sisters-in-law, Carol Schulz of Fredericksburg, IA; Mary (Raymond) Lantow of Fredericksburg, IA, Betty (Eldon) Sternat of New Hampton, IA; many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, John Schupanitz, Jerry Schupanitz; one brother-in-law, Paul Schulz; one sister-in-law, Ruth (Dewey) Barth; two nieces, Karen Link, Susie Barth; one nephew, Glen Lantow.