Mary Ellen Loughran
Mary Ellen Loughran, 76, of Iowa City, died suddenly Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics of an aortic aneurysm. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Services. There will be a prayer service following the visitation. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Team Breast Friends or Mercy Hospital Foundation. To share a thought, memory or condolences with Mary's family, please visit the funeral home website at www.gayandciha.com.
Mary Ellen Stepens was born Sept. 22, 1943, in Le Mars, Iowa, the daughter of Lyle and Marie (Borchers) Stephens. She grew up on the family farm. She attended schools in Le Mars, graduating from Le Mars High School with the Class of 1961. Mary then went on to earn her degree in elementary education from Iowa State University, graduating in three years in 1964.
She began teaching in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and later in Iowa City. She married her husband, Richard S. "Rich" Loughran, on June 18, 1966, in Le Mars. They were happily married for 54 years. During this time, they started their family and she stayed home with her two children. She loved the time she got to spend with them, taking them to sporting activities and music lessons. She was also a member of the PTA, where their kids attended school. She also volunteered at Mercy Hospital when the kids grew older. She loved her bridge club, playing volleyball, tennis and racquetball, traveling the country with her family in their motorhome and tailgating at Kinnick Stadium. Vacations were very important to her family. You would always find her at all her children's sporting and music events. She was the, "best mom anyone could ask for." When her kids were older, she decided to go back to work as a showroom consultant at Plumbers Supply. She retired shortly after her son had their first child.
After that, she became a grandma several times, eight more to be exact and this is what completed her life. She would watch them grow up, taking them to do their nails or out to lunch. "Grammy" was always up for shopping and the grandkids knew this! She was able to attend almost all their sporting events, soccer, softball, volleyball and, of course, musical events as well. She didn't want to miss a thing. If she wasn't busy attending the grandkids' activities, you could find her at Panera with her friends having coffee or at home talking to her twin sister. The two of them had a bond nobody could ever understand. They would vacation in Florida every winter together and spend time with her brother and sister. She was able to see four of the eight grandkids graduate from high school, which we know made her extremely happy. She could have only hoped to see the final four graduate. She was the heart and soul of the family. Anyone who knew her, knew her heart was pure gold. The love she had for her family was second to none. As many grandkids have said, "She is the best grammy ever, she makes all the bad things better."
The loss of Mary will be felt for years to come but the great memories she made for everyone around her will never be forgotten.
Her family includes her husband, Rich; their children, Jason and his wife, Liz, Loughran, and Alicia Loughran and her husband, Greg Hayden; grandchildren, Tristan (Becca), Lili (Drew), Ellie, Mia, Jaci, Joli, Alex and Cooper; siblings, Margaret Correia and her husband, Jack, and Jay Stephens and his wife, Julie; Mary's in-laws, Dr. Bryan Clemons and his wife, Virginia, and John Loughran and his wife, Val; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Social distancing standards will be in place along with the expectation that all in attendance to wear a mask. If you arrive without one, one will be provided to you by the funeral home. Thank you for supporting Mary's family with your presence and being conscientious in doing so.