Mary K. Duehr, 76, of Balltown, was called home peacefully at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, at her home. To honor Mary's life, funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 468 Balltown Rd., by the Rev. Noah J. Diehm. To celebrate Mary's life, family and friends may visit from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, at the church, where a parish Scripture wake service will be at 2:30 p.m., and also from 10 to 11 a.m. service time Tuesday. Burial will be in St. Francis Cemetery. Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main St., Dubuque, is in charge of arrangements.
Mary was born Jan. 2, 1941, in Potosi, Wis., daughter of Eugene and Mildred (Ott) Livens. Mary was united in marriage to the love of her life, Lavern B. Duehr, on Oct. 30, 1965, in Potosi. They were blessed with 38 years together and 11 adored children before he was called home ahead of her on Feb. 26, 2003.
Mary always was a diligent and hard worker, who not only was a full-time wife, mother and homemaker, but also shared her talents as a cook with Albrecht Acres and the Dubuque County Jail. She had many hobbies in her free time, and one of the most notable was her love of collecting, drying and shelling thousands of nuts each year. Mary spent many an hour in happy contentment securing her necessary supply for delectable pies and rolls, as well as for her farmers market stand, where she was guaranteed to be sitting every Saturday. Her hobby did come with a few "work hazards" though as getting "Alvin" out of the house proved to be quite a challenge for her children. Mary also was well known for her love of anything related to Elvis or Potosi; always looking for the next treasure to be added to her ever growing collection. She also enjoyed spending time in the great outdoors tending to her gardens, heading out for an evening of bingo, sneaking out to try her luck with the handle at the casino, or even a spirited game of cards with family and friends.
However, her unwavering love of family was definitely a primary focus in Mary's life, and her words, thoughts and actions as such were always on display for all to see. She absolutely loved family gatherings, and nothing could ever compare to the glory of the holidays in Mary's heart and mind.
Throughout her life, Mary unfortunately also experienced some terrible heartache along the way. Losing her husband and two sons left a hole in Mary's heart that was never going to be filled while she was still walking along her earthly journey. Our sorrow today, caused by the sudden absence of our loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend, is somewhat consoled by the thought and realization that Mary will be spending this Thanksgiving with her heavenly family, and we know and trust that one day we'll all be celebrating together again around the table.
Those left to cherish Mary's memory include her nine children, Annette (David) Grant, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Michelle (Jeffrey) Ketterer, Dubuque, Iowa, Marsha (Gary) Gander, Fairfax, Iowa, Amy (P.J.) Cahill, Marion, Iowa, Tony (Amy) Duehr, Balltown, Iowa, Lisa (Rick) Klinkhammer, Balltown, Lori Duehr, Cedar Rapids, Stacy Duehr, Cedar Rapids, and Henry Duehr, North Liberty; her 22 grandchildren; her 13 great-grandchildren; and her brother, Keith Livens, South Milwaukee, Wis.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Lavern Duehr; two sons, Nicholas Duehr in infancy and Raymond Duehr; a grandson, Logan Grant; a sister, Betty (Austin) Senerchia; and a brother, Joel Livens.
A Mary K. Duehr Memorial Fund has been established and will be distributed among her favorite charities.
Mary's family would like to extend a special thank- you to Mike and Cindy at Breitbach's Country Dining for their thoughtfulness in ensuring every Friday night she had a hot meal, flowers on the holidays and memorable conversations with lots of laughs and hugs thanks Mikey, Ben and Annie. Also, thanks to the LVAD Department at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, especially Kyle, Carol, Dr. Goldberg and Dr. Coltran, for their wonderful care of Mary.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.behrfuneralhome.com.