Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Obituary -- Mary Jane (Dew) Merriett 1921-2016

Mary Jane (Dew) Merriett, Burlington Junction, MO, was born on July 21, 1921, to Robert Adkins and Nancy Annice (Curry) Dew, near Hopkins, MO. She was their third child in a family of ten, her mother named her after Aunt Mary Jane McCullough.

She was proud to be a “Toad Holler" girl and enjoyed driving through the countryside telling stories of her youth there. She attended Hazel Dell one room school house, with to church at Workman Chapel before moving into Burlington Junction to stay at the Wagner’s home, to help Mrs. Wagner, and to attend high school. She was a 1938 graduate of Burlington Junction High School where she played volleyball and was the 1938 Homecoming Queen. She was awarded a scholarship because of a vocal solo to NWMSTC, where she completed the two years necessary for her Teaching Certificate. Her first teaching position was at the Loraine School by Elmo, MO. She went on to teach at several other one room schoolhouses and taught fourth grade at Eursa Minor Elementary School in Anchorage, AK, where was teacher of the year in the late 1950’s.

Mary Jane married Jesse Merriett on December 5, 1942, at the Methodist Church Parsonage in Burlington Junction, MO. During their 30 years of marriage, they traveled the US as a military family, but when military life was over they returned to their beloved Burlington Junction. To this union brought to 5 children to this world: Golda Annette, Jesse Marcus III, Janet Sue, Theresa Jane, and Marsha Diane. As a teacher, she made sure her children understood the importance of higher education and what doors it could open. With her guidance, all 5 of her children graduated with advanced degrees in nursing, physiology, physical education, and business from NWMSU, MO Western, and Iowa State. She sat proudly and watched as many of her grandchildren also crossed the graduation stage for their diplomas.

In 1969, Mary Jane started working at NWMSU, first in the Student Union food service, moving to Martindale Gym, as a matron and finishing at the Hudson, Perrin, Roberta Hall complex. She enjoyed her years at the university, her friendships with the students, faculty, and other support staff were very important to her. In 1986, she was awarded the MACE Award for her service to NWMSU.
Mary Jane didn’t let retirement slow her down. She began volunteer work with the American Red Cross, enjoying going with the Singers to various nursing homes each month; working at the Senior Center in Maryville, working at the Howard Hardware for Junior & Harriett Howard, then for her son in law Robert F. Strohecker, when he purchased the hardware; and until 2 years ago, she worked at Kiss My Grits CafĂ© in Burlington Junction. She enjoyed gardening, push mowing her own lawn, and epecially sitting in her swing on her deck with her dog Sparky, watching the people walk down the “new” sidewalk and the traffic going through Burlington. She would attend the numerous events her grandchildren were involved in, dance recitals, music programs, softball and baseball games, their graduations, their weddings, and was a fixture for many years on the top row at Rocket football games.

She was a member of the Burlington Junction United Methodist Church, American Legion Auxiliary Post 315, 40 & 8, Red Hatters, and Red Cross Volunteers.

Preceding her in death; her parents, her husband Jesse, her son in laws Jon Q. Nelson, Allen McGinness, and Robert F. Strohecker, her brother, James (Bud) Dew, and sisters, Bernadine Shipley, Roberta Miller, Anna Rose Boyd, Laurel Lee Younger, Bonnie Riddle, Shirley White and “baby” Jean.

Mary Jane is survived by Golda Annette Strohecker, Ocenside, CA, Jesse Marcus III & Nikki Merriett, Ewa Beach, HI, Janet Sue & Stuart Moser, Savannah, MO, Theresa Jane and Haywood Martin, Medicine Lake, WA, and Marsha & Mike Gibson, Burlington Junction, MO; one brother, John (Buck) Dew, Estill Springs, TN; grandchildren, Candace (Paul) Bougham, Dean Crabtree, Jesse Marcus (Nicole) Merriett IV, Stacey (Jason) Massey, Jessica (Tai) Dickerson, Erik Nelson, Mary (Josh) Blinde, Lesley (Mike) Hogan, Angela (Tony) Link, Nathan (Chelesa) Reis, Rebekah (Derrick) Stickford, Courtney Owens, Joel (Tiffany) McGinness, Skyler (Jennifer) McGinness; step grandchildren, Arlin Chang, Ben Chang, AnMarie (Matt) Rahner, Valerie Gibson, 27 great grandchildren, Alaric, Jonathan, Janelle, Benjamin, Quentin, Sarah, Wyatt, Zoey, Remy, Victoria, Emma, Teagan, Everett, Annnabelle, Jayden, Garett, Jared, Brody, Braxton, Gia, Quincy, Ashley, Elsa, Ada, Miles, Mica, Tyler, and Jenna; numerous nephews and nieces.

Funeral services were at 11:30 AM, on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at the Bram-Danfelt Funeral Home, Maryville, MO. Cremation will follow the service. A celebration of life was held at 1:00 PM, on Tuesday, November 15, at the American Legion Post 315 Building, in Burlington Junction, MO.
Inurnment will be at a later date at the Ohio Cemetery, Burlington Junction, MO.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to establish a scholarship fund in Mary Jane’s name for West Nodaway High School students to attend NWMSU.

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