Mary McLean

Oct 27, 2017


10:30 a.m. Friday  November 3, 2017 at Saint Paul Catholic Church
1102 Walnut Street, Traer, Iowa 50675


4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, November 2 at the church with an 8:00 p.m. vigil service; also from 9:00 a.m. to service time on Friday


Saint Paul Church Cemetery


May be directed to the family.


Mary Elizabeth McLean, 59, of Traer, died Friday, October 27 at Cedar Valley Hospice Home in Waterloo after a battle with brain cancer.

She was born on October 7, 1958, to Donald and Catherine (Liston) McLean. She graduated from North Tama County Community Schools in 1977. Mary worked for the North Tama Community School District for 40 years, starting as an audio-visual technician; she also acted as elementary school and main office secretary, athletic chaperone, coach, and finally as administrative assistant to the superintendent.

Mary was an active member of the St. Stephen’s the Witness faith community at the University of Northern Iowa campus where she volunteered for numerous activities and taught the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program.

She was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Traer, National Catholic Society of Foresters and First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association. Mary enjoyed music and was known to perform in several school and community events. She was an avid follower of the activities of her nieces and nephews.

Mary is survived by her siblings, Cecelia (Jim) Harmsen of Reinbeck, D. Pat (Sue) McLean of Traer, and Kathy (Dan) McGrane of Nixa, Missouri; eight nieces and nephews, Tom (Brandi) and Todd (Amy) Harmsen, Emily (Ross) Stalzer, Shane (Bailey) Krafka, Ryan and Rylee McLean and Isabel and Keira McGrane, and 12 great-nieces and great-nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a nephew, Michael Harmsen.  

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  1. Susan Spencer | Oct 30, 2017
    I knew Mary through the St. Stephen Catholic Student Center community.  She was always so helpful, patient, and kind with everyone she came into contact with.  She will be greatly missed by the staff, students, and families at St. Stephen. My condolences to her family for this great loss.
  2. Melissa Deegan | Oct 30, 2017
    Mary was such an amazing person, and I am honored that my daughter thought of her as her "Aunt Mary". Mary was a thoughtful and caring person, I'm so glad that I stopped and visited with her at the end of mass just a short while ago. Heaven gained another angel, sending blessings, prayers and deepest sympathy to her family.
  3. Jane Seeley | Oct 30, 2017

    Sending my thoughts and prayers during this time of grief for your family.  In reading Mary’s obituary and the comments posted here and on Traer Nostalgia, it is obvious what an impact she had on the education and religious community.  


  4. Irv Laube | Oct 30, 2017
    Mary will be truly missed. She was a wonderful person who always brightened my day at North Tama. She could make me smile and laugh even when things were not going well. Mary is certainly at peace in Heaven now.  Her family is in my prayers.
  5. Juliana Reisner | Oct 30, 2017
    I could share so many memories from the years I knew Mary, but the highest compliment I can give her, is that she was the most faith-full person I have ever, ever met. I will forever remember her telling me I was the most Catholic Protestant she ever met. (Good Catholic schooling pays off!) No words can erase the pain, but please know she was a very bright light in many, many lives, including mine. I am so glad I was able to call her friend. 
  6. Abigail Stecker | Oct 29, 2017

    I will treasure the memories & hugs I got to share with that sweet, sweet friend. She brightened any day, no matter how crazy or stressful, when I got to chat with her after daily Masses. She treasured and loved her family deeply; it was so evident. My prayers to you all during this time. May you all feel His love and presence, while she's up there celebrating and watching over us now. <3  ~Abigail

  7. Maria Jaramillo-Bean | Oct 29, 2017

    Mary was a kind, patient woman with a gentle spirit. She made me feel welcome and comfortable in my first teaching job. 

    I had a chance to catch up with her over the summer. She was nice and tan from summer ball games. She is a treasure that will be missed.

    I'm glad I knew you, Mary. You made an impact on my life.

  8. Barb Mauderer | Oct 29, 2017
    I enjoyed visiting with Mary when I went to get my son from school, she always had a smile on her face. She will be truly missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
  9. Mary Pedersen | Oct 29, 2017

    It was such a great pleasure getting to know Mary. Even after her diagnosis and surgery, she spoke of her deep faith in God. With deepest sympathy, prayers, and blessings.

  10. Jan Kriener | Oct 29, 2017

    To Mary's loved ones,

    I enjoyed meeting Mary through our IMPACT sessions. She is truly a child of God and was the Holy Spirit in this life. She was Jesus's hands and feet. Our group was blessed to have her among us. Mary is remembered in my prayers. God bless all of you as you grieve. 

    Jan Kriener 

  11. Lisa Thompson | Oct 29, 2017

    To the family of the gal who always had ALL the answers, we are sorry there was no answer for this. May Heaven celebrate their newest Angel.

    The Thompsons

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