Mary Elizabeth Buckley, 92, the daughter of Edward and Effie (Howard) Halpin, was born March 3, 1927, in Ottumwa, Iowa. She was a graduate of the Ottumwa High School, Class of 1945. Mary was united in marriage to Max Eugene Buckley on September 26, 1945, in Ottumwa. A resident of the Newton area since 1952 and always enjoyed her "stay at home mom" status until her children were grown. In 1973, she became the Welcome Wagon International hostess for Newton until 1984, when husband Max retired. Mary served as PTA president for three Newton schools and served as PTA council president for four years. She also served on the Boards of Chamber of Commerce, United Way and the YMCA. She was an officer in Church Women United, and a member of Tool Chapter of Questers, Skiff Hospital Auxiliary and LC Chapter of PEO.
Mary has always taken leadership roles in Newton First Christian Church and has served as Elder, Deacon and Board member for many years. She has taught Sunday School and youth groups and greeter for Family Fun Night. She was Cradle Roll Superintendent for 27 years.
She and her husband Max have been honored to receive the Congeniality Award for the Chamber of Commerce and Dedicated Servant Award from their church family.
Those left to honor Mary’s memory include her sons, Frank (Betty) Buckley of Bondurant, and John (Jannette) Buckley of Plainfield, Illinois her daughters, Connie (Dick) Palmer of Newton and Linda Vroegh of Pleasantville; 17 grandchildren: Steve Palmer, Jay & Shelly Thomas, Joe & Mary Hermes, Sheldon & Missy Card, Mike & Jen Vroegh, Jeff & Lindsey Buckley, Joe & Emily Buckley, Brianna (Chris Paul) Buckley, Brittany and Brady Buckley; 15 great grandchildren: Leah, Josh, Jacey, Kylie, Sam, Ryan, Caroline, Max, Lincoln, Hudson, Gavin, Jovi, Taylor, Leighton, Logan and Clara; and a great-great granddaughter Charlotte; and a brother Dale Halpin of Hannibal, Missouri.
Mary went to be with her Lord on Thursday morning, January 9, 2020, at her home at Park Center. She was preceded in death by her parents and the love of her life for 63 years her husband Max in 2008, whom she has longed to be with in Heaven. Also, a son-in-law Larry Vroegh; sisters: Rozella Van Ness and La Dona Jacobs; and her brothers: Bob Halpin and Duane Halpin.
A time of remembrance and celebration of life will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at the First Christian Church in Newton, with a visitation Tuesday, Jan. 14, from 4:00 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the church. The Pence ~ Reese Funeral Home in Newton, have been entrusted with the arrangements. Burial will be in the Newton Union Cemetery.
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