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Obituaries » Mary Doidge

Mary Doidge

February 10, 1941 - August 7, 2023

Service Date: August 12, 2023

Funeral Home Memorial Services of Iowa

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Mary Antoinette (Roush) Doidge died August 7, 2023, at Rock Creek Senior Living in Ankeny. She was 82 years old. Mary lived fearlessly with Alzheimer’s Disease for more than two decades. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 10, 1941, to Harry and Antoinette (Cardin) Roush.

Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, 2023, with a fellowship hour immediately after at Memorial Services of Iowa (4208 N. Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA). The service will also be live streamed at the following link: https://vimeo.com/event/3621151

Mary left Illinois for college pursuing a degree in Child Development at Iowa State University. Children were Mary’s passion. She dedicated much of her life to kids and loved to get down on the floor and play with them. Her first job was as a teacher with the newly created Headstart program. She moved to Ankeny in the late 1960s and raised her children there. She worked in the nursery at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, and later at the Polk County Child Care Resource Center. The next stop in her career was 20+ years as a Childhood Education instructor at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny. She taught thousands of students about caring for children. Mary had one grandson, Leo. She recognized him until the end. Mary kept her infectious laugh and beautiful smile until her final days.

Always a volunteer in her community, one of her favorite volunteer jobs was being in charge of the nursery during Sunday church services at Ankeny First United Methodist Church. She watched over babies there for more than 10 years. She was a member of the church since the late 1960s.

For several years Mary volunteered with friends at Terrace Hill, the governor’s mansion, serving tea.  She admired historic homes and any chance to tour them. Her home was filled with antiques. She loved to collect, and also share what she knew about antiques with her Questers group and friends.

After retiring, she volunteered at the Planned Parenthood book sale in Des Moines. She was proud to be involved.

One of her favorite things was going to garage sales or thrift stores. She firmly believed one person’s trash was another’s treasure. She loved to find a deal and rarely shopped without a coupon. In the 1990s she took a part time job as a receptionist at the Younkers Distribution Center in Ankeny while DMACC was on summer break. She did it solely for the 30% discount at the department store. She definitely got her money’s worth.

Much of her time was spent in her garden. Mary’s yard at her Ankeny home was beautiful. More than once she purchased nearly dead flowers and plants at local greenhouses at deeply discounted prices. Then she would try to nurse them back to health, which usually worked.

She enjoyed attending musicals with friends, especially Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Misérables. Always curious about different places and people, Mary traveled all over the country and world. She visited Japan, Ireland, Nova Scotia, and Australia.

Mary was ahead of her time. She recycled before it was a thing, bringing her own reusable bags to grocery stores in the 1980s and often made her kids pick up cans on the side of the road. She despised litter and still picked it up outside the facility where she most recently lived when she saw it.

She was predeceased by her mother and father. She leaves behind her son, Matthew Doidge of Des Moines; daughter Sarah Walters (Brent) of Lakeway, TX, and their son Leo; sister Jane Dwyer (Mike) of Park Forest, IL, and nieces Rachel Williams (Escondido, CA) and Bethany Williams (Chicago, IL); and brother John Roush (Carol) of Tarpon Springs, FL and their children John and Pam.

Mary loved cats (especially Siamese). Meeting her in heaven are Piwackett, Sasha, Merlin, and Madeline.

Instead of sending flowers, plant something in Mary’s memory. Contributions may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, 5452 NE 22nd Street, Des Moines, IA 50313-2528 or to any Planned Parenthood supporting women’s health initiatives.

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