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The Mount Ayr Record-News, 1928

PIONEER WOMAN IS CALLED BY DEATH

Funeral Services for Mrs. Mary A. STEPHENSON Held Monday at Baptist Church.

Funeral services for Mrs. Mary A. STEPHENSON, who died at the home of her son, Hon. J. A. STEPHENSON, in Rosemead, Calif., Wednesday, June 6, were held Monday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at the Baptist church in Mount Ayr. The funeral, which was conducted by Rev. Thomas H. BOGGESS, pastor of the Argentine Baptist church, Kansas City, Kan., was largely attended by friends who came to pay tribute of respect to the departed, who was one of the pioneer settlers of the Maloy vicinity and whose life was a benediction through all the years of her residence in this county. It was a beautiful funeral service, characterized by simplicity. The sincere tribute paid by the officiating minister found response in every heart. Floral offerings were profuse and beautiful. A quartet composed of Mr. and Mrs. Roy SPURRIER, Mrs. Alex G. MOFFATT and Leland DALBEY sang appropriate selections and Mrs. SPURRIER sang a solo, "Face to Face." The pall bearers were George D. MOFFATT, Chas. H. ROBINSON, D. A. VAUGHN, Roy STEPHENS, Conner STEPHENS and Clyde SKINNER. Interment was made in the family lot in Rose Hill cemetery [Mount Ayr].

The following obituary, prepared by the Rev. Mr. BOGGESS, was read at the funeral:

Mrs. Mary A. STEPHENSON was born June 26, 1844, and departed this life in Rosemead, Calif., on Wednesday, June 6, 1928, at the age of 83 years, 11 months and ten days.

She is survived by one son, J. A. STEPHENSON, of Rosemead, Calif., two brothers and two sisters: L. S. DULANY, of Mount Ayr, Iowa; John H. DULANY, of Uniontown, Pa.; and Mrs. Sarah REYNOLDS, of Kansas City, Mo., and Mrs. R. H. JOHNSON, of Whitely, Greene county, Pennsylvania. She is also survived by three grandchildren; Mrs. C. W. SPENCE, Perry L. STEPHENSON and John M. STEPHENSON, all of Mount Ayr, Iowa; and an adopted grandson, Orr SAMS. There are also five great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Stephenson was the daughter of Dennis and Elizabeth (SEATON) DULANY and was born in Green county, Pennsylvania.

She was united in marriage with John M. STEPHENSON, January 15, 1863. In the spring of 1867 they came to Iowa to live, locating on a farm near Maloy in Ringgold county, where they lived continuously for 35 years. Mr. STEPHENSON passed away June 8, 1902. Mrs. M. H. SAMS, a daughter, passed away April 19, 1909.

While her daughter, Mrs. SAMS, was living she made her home first with her and then with her son. Since the death of Mrs. SAMS, she made her home continuously with her son, living consecutively in Mount Ayr, Des Moines and for the past eight years in Rosemead, Calif. Both Mr. and Mrs. STEPHENSON made a profession of christianity at the old Dryden school house near Maloy, under the ministry of Elder OTIS.

A Baptist church was organized in the Dryden school house and they became charter members of this church. Later this church was moved to Delphos, Iowa, and they became charter members of the Delphos Baptist church. When the Maloy Baptist church was organized they transferred their membership and thus became charter members of the Maloy Baptist church. It is worthy of attention that both Mr. and Mrs. STEPHENSON were charter members of these three Baptist churches organized in Ringgold county.

On coming to Mount Ayr Mrs. STEPHENSON transferred her membership to the Mount Ayr Baptist church where her membership has since remained.

Mrs. STEPHENSON enjoyed unusually good health for her advanced age until a fall seventeen months ago when she sustained a broken hip. With assistance, and the aid of crutches, however, she was able to get about some. For the past four months her health has been on the decline.

Everything possible was done for her comfort by her son and his wife who tenderly cared for her. She bore her suffering patiently, never complaining.

Her last audible words to her loved ones on Monday evening were, "You have been awfully good to me. I love you all!"

On Friday and Saturday, a week ago, she suffered greatly. From then until her death pain seemed to leave her. All realized that death was near.

She gradually grew weaker and on Wednesday, June 6, at 1:12 p.m. silently, serenely, peacefully and shall I say, beautifully - she fell asleep - in Jesus.

Thus we have the record of the passing of a sincere christian life. Sincerity! What a beautiful virtue! Always sincere! If ever sincerity found expression in christian living, it was in the life of this good woman. Adjectives would fail me if I were to try to portray the loveliness and queenliness of this serenely beautiful life. (These are not vain words.) How Mrs. BOGGESS and I did love Sister STEPHENSON! And we know she loved us.

This little poem seems appropriate:

"He liveth long who liveth well!
All other life is short and vain;
He liveth longest who can tell
Of living, most for heavenly gain.
He liveth long who liveth well!
All else is being thrown away;
He liveth longest who can tell
Of true things, truly done, each day.

CARD OF THANKS


For the kindness and sympathy of neighbors and friends so generously bestowed on the occasion of the death and funeral of our mother and grandmother and for the beautiful floral tributes we are profoundly grateful.
- Mr. and Mrs. J. A. STEPHENSON.
Mr. and Mrs. C. W. SPENCE.
Mr. and Mrs. Perry L. STEPHENSON.
John M. STEPHENSON.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, 2008

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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