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Mary Jo Haarsma

Mary Jo Haarsma, 86, passed away on May 1, 2023 at Mercy Hospital. Mary was born on July 13, 1936 to her parents Ralph Andrew Sr. and Bertha Mae (Martin) Veenker. Mary was born in George, Iowa and later found her love of her life Peter Dale Haarsma at the University of Iowa and they were married on July 5, 1958. They cherished over 30 years together before his passing in 1991.

Mary obtained her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and was a dental hygienist for some time. Later in life she worked for Principal. In the 1970's, when her children were young, Mary was a Girl Scout troop leader as well as being very active in the PTA and a homeroom mother. However, most of her life was spent as a homemaker where she was able to love and tend to her 3 children; Paul, Bethanie, and Thomas. She made her home her place of happiness.

Mary took care of her rose bushes, watched soap operas, took trips to Dairy Queen for hot fudge sundaes, walked her dogs, and watched birds from her backyard. She enjoyed sudoku, wordsearches, bingo and bunco to keep her mind busy. She enjoyed socializing with the neighbors at potlucks and coffee with the ladies. Her love for animals shined through at all time, she was blessed to have her pups Boston, Abby, and Fox in her life. Most of all she loved spending time with her kids and grandchildren.

Left to cherish her memory are her son Paul Haarsma, daughter Beth Lafferty (Brian), son Tom Haarsma (Sara Getz), sister Dorothy Staas (Donald), sister Linda Veenker (Cris Johnson), granddaughter Jessica Haarsma, grandson Michael Carpenter (Laura Johnson and Liam), grandson Brandon Lafferty (Ashley Hayek) and their children Charley and Sawyer, along with many other beloved family members and friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband, her parents, sister Catherine Kutka, brother Ralph Veenker Jr., brother Martin Veenker, sister Judith Veenker, sister Rita Stockman, brothers-in-law Timothy Stockman and Emil Kutka, and sisters-in-law Anne Gilpatrick Veenker and Helen Veenker.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 8th at 10:30am at Merle Hay Chapel with a short time of visitation prior to services. Mary will be laid to rest following services at Chapel Hill Gardens at Merle Hay Funeral Home next to her husband.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Animal Rescue League in Des Moines*.

*By Mail:

Animal Rescue League of Iowa

ATTN: Donations/In Loving Memory of Mary Jo Haarsma

5452 NE 22nd St

Des Moines, IA 50313



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