Mary Pauline Deal, 98, of Prairie City, died Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, at Accura Healthcare of Newton East.
Mary, the daughter of Andrew H. and Zella E. (Bunker) Paulson, was born Jan. 24, 1922 in the kitchen of their rural home east of Kellogg. She grew up in the Kellogg area, graduating from Kellogg High School, class of 1939. On Oct. 17, 1942, Mary was united in marriage with Jerry C. Deal in Bethany, Mo. Jerry and Mary made their homes near Newburg, south of Grinnell, rural Kellogg and Newton. Three children were born into this union, Larry, Shirley and Charlotte. After more than 59 years of marriage, Jerry passed in 2001 and Mary lived on her own in Newton for a time. She then moved with Charlotte to Prairie City.
Mary was a homemaker, caring wife and mother. She was proud of her days at the Jasper County courthouse and would always comment about that when riding by. She did the bookkeeping for Jerry's business. She was praised by a state auditor for having the most organized small business system he had ever seen; this is in an era before computers. She was an amazing baker and no visitor to her home could resist the cookie jar which held her famous Toll House chocolate chip cookies or candy bar (turtle) cookies. Mary also loved to crochet, winning prizes often for her afghan creations. Her many crocheting accolades included top awards at the Iowa State Fair. Each newborn in the family would receive a handcrafted afghan from Mary made especially for them.
In addition to friends and extended family members, those who have had a piece of their heart taken with Mary to heaven are her two daughters, Shirley Keenan of Austin, Minn., and Charlotte Witte of Prairie City; grandchildren, Lawrence (Linda) Keenan of Austin, Minn., Peggy (David) Bird of LaPlata, Md., Chuck (Janelle) Keenan of Austin, Minn., Aaron (Lynn) Keenan of Austin, Minn., Billy (Amy) Witte of Prairie City and Angie (Leandro) Ramos of Pleasantville; great-grandchildren, Samuel, Emma and Hannah Keenan, Erin (Thomas) Ward, Kristyn (Russell) Hayman and David (Michelle) Bird, Jr, Andrew and Lance Keenan, Katlyn, Chloye and Brody Witte and baby Ramos on the way; great-great-grandchildren, Preston and Kelvin Ward, Mark and baby brother-on-the-way Hayman and Kahlan and Ferryn Bird. Mary was preceded in death by her mother and father; son, Larry; brother, Robert Paulson; husband, Jerry; and son-in-law, Steve Witte.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorials to the Kellogg Christian Church or Grace Alive in Prairie City may be delivered to Wallace Funeral Home, 1115 E. 19th St. N., Newton, IA 50208 or Charlotte Witte, 601 W. Second St., Prairie City, IA 50228.