June 2, 1924- October 11, 2012
Mary was born at home in Varna, Illinois (a town of 400 people), on June 2, 1924. She was the first child of Ella Bade and Louis Belsley Phillips. Mary graduated with four other students from Varna High School in 1942. She liked to tell the story that for prom the kids got in a car and went out for dinner.
Mary studied Home Economics at Iowa State and pledged Alpha Delta Pi in her freshman year. Unbeknownst to her, her father called ahead to his fraternity, Theta Xi, to talk with the Treasurer, who turned out to be Gene Daubendiek. He asked him to make sure his daughter was well taken care of, so Gene sent a pledge over to check her out first. Upon receiving a favorable report, he went to meet Mary. Thus began a relationship that would last for many years. Mary was chosen as one of four Iowa State Bomb Beauties for 1945 and married Gene Russell Daubendiek on February 18, 1945. As newlyweds, they moved to Jefferson where she lived and raised her family. Gene and Mary built a home in 1951 where they made many wonderful memories for 56 years. They enjoyed wintering in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida for 25 years until 2003, when due to Gene’s health, that was no longer possible and they moved permanently back to Jefferson. In the summer of 2005, Ever Greene Ridge became their home.
Their first child, Mary Jeanette, was the first grandchild on both sides of the family and adored by all. She was born in June of 1946 and died in January 1950 at the age of 3 ½ years old, such sadness that no parent should ever have to endure. Mary was a wonderful, kind and caring mother and wife. She loved to spend time with her family, whether it was being the Den Mother or helping with Camp Fire Girls, to the hours spent chauffeuring a young Jim on his many trips to check his trapping lines or doing ceramics with Sarah, hours spent helping grandchildren with piano lessons, or giving cherished “back scratches” to children and grandchildren. The grandchildren’s activities were always a delight to her. Mary thoroughly enjoyed entertaining, whether that was in Jefferson or in Florida, or just serving hot cocoa after kids had been sledding on the hill behind their home on a cold winter day. She was an excellent cook, and was known as a gracious hostess. She loved to read, sew, travel and play with her grandchildren.
Mary enjoyed over 50 years of friendships in bridge clubs, “bridgeless bridge club”, Bible study groups, and as a “Pink Lady” at the hospital. She treasured her friends and had a special gift of caring for others, whether it was taking meals, sharing flowers and produce from her garden, or just a listening ear over a cup of coffee and a jar of cookies within ready reach.
In May, Mary moved to GCMC Long Term Care where she passed away on October 11, 2012, at the age of 88. She was cared for by many devoted and loving people during these last years with dementia, both while living in their unit at Ever Greene Ridge and then in Long Term. The entire family cherishes and expresses their heartfelt thanks to all those who gave so much during Mary’s decline.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; daughter Mary Jeanette and grandson, Grant Jameson Blackmon. She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Gene Daubendiek; sisters, Gretchen Corbin of Maryland and Ann (& Bill) Prosser of Virginia; son Jim and wife Jeanne Daubendiek of Jefferson and daughter, Sarah and husband Jim Blackmon of Arlington, Texas; grandchildren Jody (& Paul) Schulte of Ft. Madison, Iowa, Jenny Daubendiek (fiancé Dennis Robinson) of California, Jamie (& Cindi) Daubendiek of Jefferson, Laurel, Emily, Austin, & Preston Blackmon of Arlington, Texas; great grandchildren, Ellie and Molly Schulte, and Jameson Daubendiek; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Family visitation will be on Friday, October 12, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home. The service will be on Saturday, October 13, at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 801 W. Lincolnway, where Mary was a member for 67 years. Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church in Jefferson or the Greene County Medical Center Foundation and sent to Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home, PO Box 108, Jefferson, Iowa 50129.
Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home