Mary went to be with the Lord on Dec. 6, 2020. Her passing was sudden but peaceful.
Mary and her twin sister Gerry were born in Peoria, Ill., to Paul and Helen Spainhower on May 10, 1933. She attended Academy of
Our Lady High School and graduated from OSF St. Francis Nursing School with high honors specializing in pediatrics. She went on to be the pediatrics nursing supervisor at St. Francis Hospital.
Mary met the love of her life, Lee Noel, in 1955 and they married on Dec. 29, 1956. That beautiful marriage resulted in four children, Steve (deceased), Mike, MaryLee and Patrice. She returned to her nursing career after the children were grown. She served as Iowa City Hospice volunteer nurse, earning volunteer of the year award. Later in life, she also worked at the Iowa City Veteran's Administrative Hospital as a nurse on various research projects, where she was employee of the month once.
Mary was a giver, she could never give enough for others, especially "her Lee." She said countless rosaries and made too many brownies, lemon bars and toffee bars to count. Her favorite activities were those of her children and grandchildren. She cheered at football, swimming, hockey, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, Scouts and choir and band concerts. She was the best Momma and Nana ever!
In the day, Mary was an avid runner, winning her age group several times in 5K races. She really liked running races that benefited her favorite charities, Hospice, American Cancer Society and Alzheimer's Association. She also made a mean pot of Hawkeye Chili for Lee's many tailgates.
Mary loved spending winters with Lee in St. George Island, Fla., and hosting family and special friends there. She cherished family time especially the vacations to Orlando, San Diego and Hawaii.
She is survived by her husband of almost 64 years, Lee; daughter-in-law, Beth (Steve) Noel of Dakota Dunes, S.D.; son, Mike (Mary) Noel of Iowa City; MaryLee (John) Williams of Cedar Rapids and Patrice (John Mittelstaedt) Noel of Dayton, Ohio; grandchildren, Hilliary (Brad) Lukes, John Williams, Todd (Emily) Noel, Lee Noel, Drew Noel, Kate Noel, Louis Noel, Matthew Mittelstaedt and Marlow Mittelstaedt; plus great-grandchildren, Ryne and Addison Lukes; sisters, Nancy Maushard (Peoria, Ill.) and Peggy Belliston (San Diego, Calif.); and a brother-in-law, Vance Belliston (San Diego, Calif.); and many nephews, nieces and friends.
She was preceded in death by her son, Steve; her son-in-law, John Mittelstaedt; her parents, Paul and Helen; her sisters, Pat Mahrt, Shirley Coyle and Gerry Heuermann; her brother, PJ Spainhower; brothers-in-law, Don Mahrt, George Coyle, Kenny Heuermann and Tom Maushard; and sister-in-law, Marilyn Spainhower.
Mary believed in the power of prayer and had unwavering faith. She was the greatest role model as a wife, mom, friend and person. She will be deeply missed and lives on in each of us.
Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Coralville. Due to the pandemic, social distancing and masks will be required for the health and safety of all attendees. The family will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m., following the visitation. Father Ed Fitzpatrick will officiate. Friends may view the Mass by way of Zoom. The Zoom link may be found on Mary's obituary page at www.lensingfuneral.com. Friends are also welcome to come to the church, remain in their vehicle and listen to the Mass on FM 91.3. Following the Mass, friends may join the family outside the church for a Prayer of Commendation. Graveside Services will be held Saturday, Dec. 19, at St. Mary's Cemetery in Metamora, Ill.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Iowa City Hospice, University of Iowa Newman Catholic Student Center, St. Thomas More Church, Coralville, or a charity of your choice.
Online condolences may be sent to www.lensingfuneral.com.