Mary Esther Anderson passed away on January 3, 2015, at Spurgeon Manor, Dallas Center, Iowa at the age of 92. She will be remembered for her love of and dedication to education, her community, church service, and her devotion to her family.
Born on November 9, 1922, Mary Esther was the second of three daughters born to Paul F. Anderson and Esther Vivian Mortimer Anderson. She was baptized by her grandfather, the Reverend Charles W. Anderson, in the Minburn Methodist Church, and grew up on the family farm outside of Minburn. Mary Esther’s love of education showcased itself early when she begged to attend the country one-room school at the age of 4. She graduated from Dallas Center High School in 1939 at 16 years old.
In 1941 Mary Esther started teaching grade school after finishing courses at Iowa State University. From 1941 till 1975, Mary Esther taught and influenced hundreds of children. As a gifted teacher, Mary Esther taught the fundamentals of reading and mathematics in a way that was fun and understandable. During the summer, she tutored mathematics for those that needed additional help. Later, former students nominated and Mary Esther was awarded the WOI Favorite Teacher Award in 2003.
Mary Esther was known for the care and love that she showed her family, neighbors, and friends. Mary Esther took care of her mother after she became disabled from a severe car accident.
Mary Esther also was dedicated to her community. She was elected to the Heartland Cooperative Elevator Board in 1990 and later became president from 1992 through 1994. Mary Esther showed the very same quiet effective leadership skills that she had taught her students. During her time as president, Heartland expanded through the purchase of several elevator systems. In order to honor her accomplishments to the local community, Mary Esther served as the Grand Marshall of the 2003 Minburn 4th of July Parade.
Mary Esther lived a Christ centered life and devoted much of her time to the local churches she belonged to. For most of her life, Mary Esther attended the same church she was baptized in, the Minburn United Methodist Church. Later, she attended and joined the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas Center. She acted as treasurer for the Minburn United Methodist Church, the Minburn United Methodist Women’s (UMW) group, and the Central Iowa District UMW for a number of years. She also served as president of the Minburn UMW.
She is predeceased in death by her parents, her sister and brother-in-law, Eleanor and Wilbur Royer, her brother-in-law, Bradley Miles and her niece, Esther Miles Bartelt. She is survived by her beloved sister, Janice Miles, her nieces, nephews and their spouses: Mary K. Royer (David J. Lloyd) of New Jersey, Paul H. Royer, M.D. (Beth), Earl W. Royer (Esther), Dean Bartelt and Joan Barrett (Mark) all of Iowa, Carol Latourneau (Paul) of Minnesota, and Joyce Biggs (Craig) of Iowa; as well as their children, step-children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, January 7, 2015, followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, at the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas Center. Burial will be at the Brethren Cemetery, Rural Dallas Center.
Contributions in her memory may be made either to the United Methodist Church, Minburn, IA, or the First Presbyterian Church, Dallas Center, IA.
Arrangements by Iles Brandt Chapel