Services for Mary Pape, 77, formerly of Hawkeye, will be Thursday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m., at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Eldorado. Visitation is Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 4-7 p.m. at Becker-Milnes Funeral Chapel in Hawkeye. Mary died Sunday, Sept. 16 after battling dementia-related illness for several years.
Marilyn Rosella Vagts was born Dec. 3 1940, the youngest of the five children of Lawrence and Mabel Vagts of Eldorado. She was baptized Dec. 29, 1940 and later confirmed, at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Eldorado. Her baptismal sponsors were Anita Steffens and Arthur Gross.
Following graduation from North High School, West Union in 1958, she went to Minneapolis to work for Hardware Mutual as a file clerk. In 1960, she returned to Eldorado, and on June 11, married Daryl Pape. The couple began their married life on a farm two miles northeast of Eldorado, along the Turkey River. In 1966, Mary and Daryl bought a farm just west of Hawkeye where they moved with their two young daughters, Janell and Joleen. In 1967, son Darren was born, completing their family.
In 1974, Daryl and Mary sold their milk cows and purchased Lauer Implement. Mary worked as a bookkeeper for Pape Implement & Appliance until the couple’s retirement in 2008. She also started working as a clerk in the Hawkeye Post Office in 1992 and later became a PMR (Postmaster Relief.)
Mary rode twice on RAGBRAI as a member of the Alpine Pedalers, and was known to roller skate into town when the road past their house was newly paved. She was a member of Dorcas Circle and sang in the church choir at Trinity Lutheran Church, Hawkeye, where the couple were members for many years. She enjoyed snowmobiling with neighbors, volunteered on the Hawkeye Community Hall Board, Hawkeye Businessmen’s Association, and Hawkeye Historical Club and helped rebuild the community hall after it was destroyed by fire. Mary also served on the Palmer Memorial Hospital Board. She enjoyed golfing at Big Rock Country Club in Fayette and as a senior citizen, helped organize a ‘Granny Basketball’ team of women friends in the Hawkeye community. Mary enjoyed gardening and especially loved firecrackers and playing April Fool’s jokes on her family. The couple spent time in Arizona for several winters through 2011.
Mary and Daryl moved into assisted living in May 2016 and Mary became a resident of Maple Crest Nursing Home in Fayette, in May 2017.
Survivors include her husband, Daryl, of Fayette; children Janell (Jeff) Bradley of Wadena, Joleen (Scott) Garvin of West Union and Darren (Angel) Pape of Grand Meadow, MN; six grandchildren, Sarah Bradley, Ryan Bradley, Laura Bradley, Clif McNeese, LaCreasha McNeese, and Matthew Pape; five great-grandchildren; a sister, Irene (Elvin) Anderson of Elgin, three brothers: Donald (Audrey) Vagts of West Union, Kenneth (Evelyn) Vagts and John (Mary Ann) Vagts all of Eldorado; and sisters-in-law, Kathleen Traeger of Hawkeye and Kay Pape of Sun City, Ariz.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, granddaughter Alison Garvin, several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, and two nieces.
Memorials are suggested to the family or St. Peter Lutheran Church, Eldorado.