Mary Louise Fey was born Dec. 14, 1930, at her grandparents'farm 4 ½ miles south of Correctionville. She was the oldest of two daughters born to F. Wayne Fey and Olga Catherine Petersen Fey Ferry. Because her father was in construction for the military when she was young, the family lived all over the United States. Mary attended seven different schools before declaring that she was not moving again. She convinced her parents that she be allowed to live with her grandparents so that she could attend school in Correctionville, and she graduated from Correctionville High School in 1948.
Mary married William R. Utesch on March 28, 1948. As a newlywed, Mary lived for the first time on a farm, and her husband Bill taught her to drive a tractor so that she could help. The couple became the parents of five children: Sherrie Sue, who was stillborn, Craig William, Brad Wayne, Kirk Warren, and Mary Catherine.
Mary worked with her husband on the farm doing everything from driving tractors to feeding cattle, and building a life for their family. With their three sons they established Triple U Ranch as a family farming business to feed cattle and raise crops.
Mary served as the bookkeeper for the business for many years. In 2000, the Utesch family and Triple U Ranch were named the winners of the Environmental Stewardship Award at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The family celebrated together doubly that night because it was Bill's 73rd birthday.
Mary was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Correctionville, where she joined WSCS and various women's circles. She was a member of Stella Chapter, Order of Easter Star where she served as Worthy Matron, Daughters of the Nile, Chapter CP PEO, and taught Sunday school classes.
Mary and Bill moved into Correctionville in 1986 after building a home there. Mary and Bill also enjoyed their home at the Iowa Great Lakes and their winters spent with friends in Palm Springs, California. Travel and tourism became a part of their lives with trips to Europe, China, Alaska, and the Panama Canal. The friendships established during these times truly enriched their lives.
Mary enjoyed playing cards, singing karaoke, and dancing. She was always ready to go for a ride or play a hand of bridge.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband William; her parents, Wayne Fey and Olga Ferry; her step-father Russell Ferry; her daughter Sherrie Sue; a sister-in-law Faye Goodwin; and brothers-in-law Jerry Goodwin, Frank Altemus, Marvin Volkert, Melvin Hoppe, and Fritz Friedrichsen.
Mary is survived by her children: Craig and wife Elaine, Brad, Kirk and wife Barbara, and Mary Catherine Pansegrau; sister, Shirley and her husband Norman Holz; 10 grandchildren: Amie Utesch(Brad) Bastian, Matthew Utesch, Brandon Utesch, Jessica Utesch(Cody) Wilson, Kari Utesch (Brandon) Livermore, Carly Utesch (Shaun) Quam, Kelsey Utesch, William Pansegrau, Joshua Pansegrau, and Nathan Utesch; great-granchildren: Breanna Grace Bastian, Connor Bradley Bastian, Cheyanne Avery Livermore, Cayden H. Wilson, and one great-grandaughter on the way. Sisters-in-laws: Mrs. Violet Altemus, Mrs. Marjorie Hoppe, Mrs. Alice Volkert, Mrs. Phyllis Todd and her husband Leonard, and Mrs. Wanda Friedrichsen; many nieces and nephews, and many special friends.
On-line condolences can be made at nicklasdjensenfh.com.