Saturday, October 15, 2016, at 4:00 PM
Horton Baptist Church
1413 140th Street
Waverly, IA 50677
Saturday, October 15, 2016, from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Parrott & Wood Chapel of Memories
965 Home Plaza
Waterloo, IA 50701
On December 21, 1953 Mary was born to Arnold Clausen and Shirley JoAnn Clausen (Hanson) in Estherville, IA. She spent her childhood years in Northwest Iowa eventually settling down in Fort Dodge. In 1972 she graduated from Fort Dodge Community Schools, but before graduation, sparks flew in chemistry class when this creative, bubbly young woman met a tall, young basketball player named Paul. This budding high school relationship would quickly grow into lifelong love.
After graduation, Mary moved to Ames where she attended Iowa State University majoring in Home Economics Education. One cool afternoon in March 1974, these two lovers went on a walk to the north steps of the ISU campanile. They left there as an engaged couple and on November 23, 1974 they were united in marriage.
On March 25th, 1978 they welcomed their first daughter Jennifer into this world. Three short years later, they were blessed again with their second daughter Dianna. Over the next several years, Mary raised her daughters and worked for the school districts in Waterloo, IA and Beaver Dam, WI, eventually moving into counseling where she helped high risk students through life’s hardships. Without her care and investment, many of these students would not have graduated from high school. Her deep passion for counseling students inspired Mary to earn her Masters Degree in Counseling. She served as a counselor for over 15 years and retired in 2013 after 30 years of dedicated service.
Many of the things Mary enjoyed included service to her churches, sewing, quilting, cooking, traveling, shoes, a good bottle of wine and some chocolate. She cherished her time making memories with family and friends at the cabin and on the water at Lake Okoboji. She loved her cocker spaniels Cookie and Bailey.
None of these things outside of her love of Christ, Paul and her girls brought her more joy than spending time with her grandchildren. Levi, Lacy and Owen are truly blessed to have such a loving Nana who poured an endless amount of love, generosity and kindness onto them.
“Faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love” was one of Mary’s favorite passages and she lived that out in both her family and career. All the way to the last day of her life, she constantly put others first no matter what the situation. Through example and instruction, she taught her girls how to work hard, love unconditionally, be generous and kind. Each of these traits is seen living on each day by those who know Jennifer and Dianna.
ln December 2015, Mary began the hardest battle of her life when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Throughout all of the doctor’s appointments and cancer treatments she maintained a tremendously positive attitude, a true testament to her trust in the Lord. Mary passed away on October 9, 2016. She leaves behind her husband Paul of Cedar Falls, daughter Jennifer (Robert) Hahn of San Bruno, CA and daughter Dianna (Beau) Biekert of Waverly, IA as well as her 3 beloved grandchildren. She also leaves behind her father Arnold Clausen, step mother Lillie Mae Clausen, step brother Marc Clausen (Julie) and half brother David Clausen. Her mother Shirley JoAnn Clausen (Hanson) preceded her in death.
Although her time was cut short, she gave us a legacy of love. In the end, love is all that matters and for that we will always remember Mary. “All that we love, deeply becomes a part of us.”
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to the Mayo Clinic website and donate to Pancreatic Cancer research in honor of Mary Zierke.