Mary Catherine Boudreau died in her home on July 10, 2018, from complications of cancer. Her family and friends were at her side and what wonderful buckets of tears, jokes and merlot were provided to make ease of a difficult time.
On May 11, 1949, Mary was born to Burton and Catherine in Minneapolis, Minn. At a young age, Mary moved with her family to Iowa. She graduated from Regis High School. After earning a master's in audiology from the University of Iowa, Mary was recruited by the Peace Corps to develop a hearing clinic in Taegu, South Korea. She so loved her work that she stayed for nearly four years when the normal term was for two. In 2013, the South Korean government honored Mary and hundreds of other retired volunteers for their service by flying them back to their sites for a week of celebrations and shows of gratitude.
After her return to the United States in the 1970s, Mary married Thom Hall. They later divorced. Three children were born of this union: Evan, Maggie and Sylvie. Because her second child was born with serious cardiac issues requiring five open-heart surgeries, Mary retired from working with ENT doctors in Cedar Rapids in order to offer more control of her daughter's caretaking. She and her children ventured into several interesting sideline jobs. Catering was cut short after dealing with her kids playing with lobsters soon intended for a neighbor's hot pot. Next, a brief time in the antique business provided her children with informal history lessons and trips to auctions. Each child was required to collect something to keep it interesting: hankies, miniature dishes or toy soldiers.
Eventually, Mary ended up in the Mount Vernon school system and felt honored to be a part of the students' education. Along the way, she served as a Girl Scout leader for six years, president of the natural food cooperative for three years, and many years on the local Community Chest Board.
Mary loved literature, music, film, gardening and cooking. Recently, she was learning Spanish. She had few regrets in life, but two stuck out: not using her passport more often, and using her credit cards too often.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by one aunt, two brothers, two sisters, three children and two grandchildren.
The family wishes to extend special thanks and gratitude to the Hall-Perrine Center, especially to Dr. Leilah Kutteh, and all the lovely nurses and registrars of the third floor; the Healing Circle of Mount Vernon; Hospice of Mercy; and the extended family of friends at MVHS.
A memorial gathering will be held in her honor at First Street Community Center in Mount Vernon from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Her body has been donated to the University of Iowa Anatomy Department. A special celebration of life will be held later at the family's discretion.
In the meantime, Mary wouldn't be opposed to you pouring a glass of red (or white) as a toast to the majesty and grandeur of the Grand Designer's beautiful world; or donating to a memorial of your choice, such as Doctors Without Borders, ASPCA or the American Cancer Society.