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Mary Speltz

mary speltz
Mary Ellen Speltz age 71 of Lawler, IA, died Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at her home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 am on Friday, September 13, 2019, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lawler, IA with Father Dan Knipper celebrating the Mass. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Lawler, IA with William Paul and James Paul serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be all of Mary’s many friends and family members. Friends may greet the family from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 12, 2019, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lawler, IA where there will be a 7:00 p.m. parish scripture service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass on Friday at the church. Mary Ellen Speltz was born on Nov. 24, 1947, in New Hampton to James and Marcella (Mihm) Schmitt, and she grew up on a farm near Lawler. She attended Mt. Carmel Catholic School through the eighth grade and then attended Turkey Valley High School, where she participated in basketball and track. She was a member of the Trojans’ Class of 1966. After graduation, she attended Young’s Beauty School in Waterloo and later worked as a beautician in New Hampton. She had two sons, William was born in 1969 and James arrived two years later, from a previous marriage. Her sons remember growing up in a home with a mom who loved them unconditionally. Mary could be stern when she needed to be, but she also was a strong advocate for her family and friends. She taught her sons how to play Euchre, the card game she loved playing — and winning, too — throughout her life, and she did the same with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren when they came to grandma’s house. One sport that Turkey Valley didn’t offer when Mary was a student was softball, but as an adult, she played on a number of women’s teams in the area — playing third base, “the hot corner" — and she loved every minute of her time on the diamond. In 1980, she accepted a job as a custodian at her alma mater, and for years, she was in the cafeteria every day during lunchtime. She loved her Turkey Valley kids, and they, in turn, loved her. She was a “second mom” to hundreds of Trojans throughout the years, and to this day, many Turkey Valley students will tell you that she was their “go-to person.” Mary had known Joe Speltz for years, for she was best friends with Joe’s older sister when they were in high school. They began dating in the 1980s, and they were married on June 2, 1989. While Joe owned and operated Lawler Plumbing and Heating, Mary continued to impact the lives of hundreds of Turkey Valley students. The couple loved to golf, hunt, and fish; in fact, they “re-met” if you will when they were paired together in a golf tournament at the Fredericksburg County Club. That “first date” was a good omen for Mary and Joe as they blew away the field. In 2001, Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer, but in typical Mary Speltz fashion, she accepted the “challenge” and beat the disease. An era ended at Turkey Valley in 2012 when Mary retired, but she continued to be active with her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She had her rules that she expected them all to follow, but she loved them all and fiercely supported them in every facet of their lives. Unfortunately, Mary was diagnosed with cancer again earlier this year, and again, she fought with all her might right up to the end. She showed her family the true meaning of courage and perseverance throughout her life. Mary is survived by her husband of thirty years, Joe Speltz of Lawler, IA; two sons, William (Susan Jensen) Paul of DeSoto, WI, James (Jo) Paul of Fairfax, Iowa; two brothers, Gene Schmitt of Waucoma, IA, David Schmitt of Dubuque, IA; one sister, Pat (Vern) Halbur of Lawler, IA; seven grandchildren, Kelcey Paul, Marcel Paul, Bailey Paul, Keagan Paul, Kylee Paul, Elizabeth Piersen, Holly Zirtzman; two great-grandchildren Krizstian and Edward. She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister in infancy Kathleen Schmitt; one brother Kenneth Schmitt; one sister-in-law Susan Schmitt.

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  1. Hopefully seeing your mom, sister, and wife die peacefully with you at your side will ease your sorrow. She was ready to be at peace and go up to Jesus. It has been my salvation since my husband died. Joe and Mary were always so welcoming when I visited Lawler and of course always offered me a beer. Loved seeing the Whole Speltz clan. My deepest condolences to the. Speltz and Schmidt families. Joanne Murray Buelow

  2. Joe and family members, our prayers go out to you all. Mary is at peace with the Lord and looking down at the family she loves❤️ Marge and Dave Mayo 1080 Kelly Dr. Nashville North Carolina 27856

  3. Our Deepest Sympathy goes out to the entire family of Mary. Prayers and Thoughts are with you all at this difficult time of loss. James & Lyn ( Meissen) Bailey

  4. So very sorry to hear of Mary’s passing, she fought a good fight but was too young to be gone. Prayers and thoughts are with you Joe and her entire family

  5. Bill and Jim Srry to hear of the loss of your mother. She was such a beautiful, caring and was always willing to visit. I will really miss her as she was my best friend for over 50 years. God bless you and your family. Gloria and Brenda Parks

  6. Joe and family our deepest sympathy goes out to all. Our thoughts and Prayers coming your way. R.I.P. Mary.

  7. Joe and boys, Each time we came to visit from Pennsylvania we would catch up with your mom. Mary was always so sweet to my children every time we visited and a terrific support to my parents as they made their journeys through cancer respectively. She will be missed. We offer our deepest sympathy for your loss. Jacqueline (Blazek), Chris, Gavin and Aiden Evans

  8. Had the pleasure of golfing years ago with Joe and Mary. We always had a great time. May her memories console you in the days ahead. All our thoughts and prayers to her family. Jeanne and David Roder

  9. When I was a child, Mary often came with Marcella to my grandmother’s house, and I thought Mary was the nicest person I had ever met (along with her mother). Mary remained that sweetheart all her life. I wish you all peace.

  10. Joe & family. Mary & I spent many summer evenings driving around rural Lawler during our high school years having fun talking about our families or school or the future. She was always bubbly & happy & positive about life. Mary was a wonderful person who I’m sure will be very much missed by her family & friends. Tom Huber

  11. Mary was such a wonderful woman. She always had a smile on her face . She was a great classmate and she will be miss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time.

  12. I always loved how when I moved away and every time I would come back to visit and at first it would be long periods of time I would see Mary at buckys or the hole in the wall and she always remembered me and always asked me how I was doing!! She was a great influence on my life Rest In Peace Mary

  13. To members of the Joe Speltz family and to Gene, David and Pat, Please accept our condolences upon the passing of Mary Ellen. She, as I remember, also had such a pleasant and beautiful smile and the hospitality of her mother, Marcella. We, as cousins, always appreciated her friendliness and welcoming spirit. We are sorry for your loss. Jerome Smith

  14. My sincere condolences and prayers to family members. I met Mary while she was a custodian at TV, while I was conducting an investigation of vandalism at the school. She was a super person and very kind. God Bless,

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