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Mary Ann (Grund) Wolfe

Mary, who all the grandchildren called “Grammy,” was born on May 8, 1923, on a farm in Laurens, IA, to Franklin Grund and Opal Leach. Mary’s stepmother, Thelma Grund, married Frank when Mary was six or seven years old and Mary always called her Mother.

Mary passed away on November 5, 2023, in her home of 63 years in Des Moines, Iowa.

Mary met her husband, Allan Wolfe, while working at Maytag in Newton, Iowa and they were married on July 17, 1948, at the Little Brown Church in the Vale in Nashua, Iowa. Prior to that, Mary held jobs at Dad’s Root Beer and the Des Moines Ordnance Plant as well as another factory. Mary worked as a machine operator making primers at Des Moines Ordnance and airplane propeller parts at the other plant.

Between 1949 and 1954, Mary and Allan welcomed three children, Bruce, Blair and Amber. Mary’s children were the light of her life. Mary and Allan moved around with Allan’s job as a Depot Agent before settling in Des Moines, and in 1960 they purchased their home where they spent the rest of their life together. Mary was proud of her home and loved working in her yard and garden. Mary and Allan were married for 62 years until Allan’s passing in 2010.

After having children of her own, Mary ran an in-home daycare for more than 12 years. She loved children. Later in life, she enjoyed working at the pumpkin patch with her daughter Amber, which she did until Amber’s passing in 2011.

Mary loved roller skating, music, flowers, cats, birdwatching, Christmas, and M&Ms.

Following Mary’s passing, family and friends gathered around her kitchen table where she spent a lot of time. When asked to describe Mary in a single word, loved ones said, loving, selfless, kind, generous, gracious, and stubborn. Mary was such a special person it was difficult to find a single word.

Mary was preceded in death by her birth mother, Opal Marie Leach; step-mother, who she called Mother, Thelma Grund; father, Franklin “Frank” Grund; brothers, Howard “Bud” Grund and Donald “Donny” Grund; step-sister, Naomi Caldwell; husband, Allan R. Wolfe; and daughter, Amber (Ken) Williamson.

Mary leaves behind her sons, Bruce (Lura) Wolfe and Blair (Deb) Wolfe; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held at Merle Hay Funeral Home on Monday, November 13, 2023 from 1 to 2 PM, immediately followed by the funeral service at 2 PM.


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