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Mary Elizabeth Kundrat

October 22, 1927 February 14, 2011
Mary Elizabeth Kundrat
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Obituary for Mary Elizabeth Kundrat

PEORIA-Mary Elizabeth Kundrat, 83, of Peoria, IL and formerly of Jefferson, IA, died at 11:39 a.m. on Monday, February 14, 2011, at the Bickford House surrounded by her loving family. She was born October 22, 1927, in St. Louis, MO to Loretta and Fenton Dowling. Mary spent her childhood in Minneapolis and Kansas City. She graduated from Kansas City High School and attended the College of St. Catherine’s in Minneapolis, MN. She spent time in Kansas City working for the US government as a letter writer to the families who had lost a loved one in the war. She later graduated from Drake University with a degree in education. While at Drake, she met George Kundrat, a WWII marine from Hammond, IN. They married, and moved to Jefferson, where they raised their family. Mary taught English at Cooper School for several years and was a stay-at-home mom. After the sudden death of her husband in 1965, she returned to teaching English, Speech, and Literature at East Greene and Jefferson schools and pursued graduate work. After retirement, she moved to Peoria, IL in 1998. Mary was a nature lover and avid sports fan. Nothing brought her greater joy than watching her children and grandchildren compete in sports. She also enjoyed following all kinds of sports from Wimbledon to the Cubs to her favorite college teams. She loved crosswords and cards, most notably bridge and cribbage. She enjoyed time spent with her many dear friends in Jefferson and Peoria. Mary loved traveling, both in the US and abroad with her family. She was especially fond of the Tetons in Wyoming. She felt great responsibility and duty to be involved in the communities in which she lived. She was active in the Association for Retarded Children of Greene County from its inception. She was a life-long advocate for those less fortunate than herself. She and her dear friend, Mary Lane were instrumental in starting the St. Joseph’s Peace and Justice Committee, where they helped local people in need. She was an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Daughter’s Association, the Greene County Democratic Committee, and served as president of the Jefferson Teacher’s Union. She was actively involved in the Greene County Sheltered Workshop. While in Peoria, she a member of the American Association for University Women (AAUW), several bridge clubs, and St. Vincent de Paul Parish. Mary is survived by her children, Mary Ann Kundrat (Pat McNulty) of Windsor Heights, IA , Patricia Kundrat of Woodward, IA, Michael Kundrat of Phoenix, AZ, Janet O’Neill (Joe) of Peoria, IL, and Susan Kundrat (Victoria Burkhalter) of Savoy, IL; daughter-in-law, Jeffree (Kundrat) Hunt; and 15 grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Peggy Dowling of Kansas City, KS, Anne Peterson of Phoenix, AZ, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her son Jeff (George) Kundrat, her brothers, Jack Dowling, Fenton Dowling, and sister-in-law, Sammie Dowling. A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 19,2011, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson, Iowa. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. on Friday with recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m. at Hastings Funeral Home in Jefferson. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery in Jefferson. Wright & Salmon Mortuary in Peoria, IL is in charge of local arrangements. Memorial contributions can be made to the St. Joseph’s Parish Peace and Justice Committee in Jefferson, IA. Tributes and condolences may be submitted to www.wrightandsalmon.com.

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