Mary Lou Wurtz

Mar 10, 2020
Wurtz, Mary Lou news


A memorial service will be held a later date with internment at Poyner Cemetery, Gilbertville, Iowa.


Memorials can be directed in her name to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 610 S. Evans Road, Evansdale, Iowa, 50707 or Cedar Valley Hospice, 2101 Kimball Ave., #401, Waterloo, Iowa, 50702.


She was born December 14, 1934 in Evansdale, Iowa, daughter of William A. and Jennie Mahana Neith.  She married Donald G. Wurtz on August 28, 1955 at First Reformed Church in Evansdale and together they enjoyed 64 years of happiness with each other and their family.

Mary Lou (her nickname was Rigg) loved to go on car rides around the area and sit on the porch to talk with family and watch the grandchildren and great grandchildren play in the yard.  Her favorite places were the patio and the front living room where she kept a keen eye on the neighborhood happenings.

Mary Lou grew up in the Great Depression of the 1930’s and never forgot the times of sacrifice and hardship but the ever-enduring love of her family carried her through.  As she grew up in Evansdale, she picked beans for pennies a day, attended a one room school, remembered the nation’s efforts in World War II and had a pet pig named Wootsie.

She worked at the Woolworths and at the Home Bakery in Waterloo where she could recall the shootout between Waterloo Police and one of John Dillinger’s gang.

She met the love of her life, Don Wurtz in 1953 and saved diligently while he served in the United States Marine Corps. Upon his discharge, they entered their married life together having four children, six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

Mary Lou’s memory for family and local history was amazing, from the Mahana family farm being where the former Jewett Elementary stood in Evansdale, staying with her paternal grandmother (a strong woman widowed early in life left to raise five boys alone on a simple farm) in rural Jesup in a house with no electricity or indoor plumbing, riding the Interurban Train to work in Waterloo from her home in Evansdale, stories about growing up in the Great Depression and being thrilled with a new flour sack dress, and carhopping at the A&W during it’s heyday.  There were always stories to tell and all that came to visit enjoyed her conversations greatly. 

During her life, her faith and her fellow parishioners at St. Marks United Methodist Church in Evansdale became a central part of her life and she was active in United Methodist Women for many years.  She worked tirelessly to help her close friends at the church host many a fundraising dinner including the annual Turkey Dinner.  Mary Lou was always present with a homemade pie or some of her ham salad sandwiches at numerous funerals the women’s group provided for anyone with a need for a place to host a service, whether they were a church member or not.  All were welcome.

Mary Lou Neith Wurtz is survived by her husband, one daughter, Jenny of Waterloo, three sons, Gary of Elk Run Heights, Richard (Ute) of Purcellville, VA and Paul (Lori) of Elk Run Heights, six grandchildren, Eric, Allison, Victoria, Maximillian, Alexander and Richard Jr., and six greatgrandchildren, Gauge, Cannon, Everleigh, Abigail and Eleanor and one brother, William A. Neith of Waterloo.

Preceded in death by:  her parents, a brother in infancy, her sisters Helen Neith Haberstitch, Norma Jean Neith Cummings, as well as sisters-in-law Mary Beth Neith, Geraldine Wurtz Thompson, Pauline Wurtz Morgan, Georgia Wurtz Davis and Vivian Wurtz Abels, brothers-in-law Daniel “Pat” Haberstitch, Duane Cummings, Wayne Davis, Edmund Morgan and Meryl Thompson and father-in-law George Washington Wurtz and mother-in-law Daisy Mae Patten Wurtz.




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  1. Dan Knapek | Apr 06, 2020

    Wurtz Family...

    I am so sorry for the loss of your wife, mother, and grandmother. From reading her "story of life" she had volumes that made her into her she eventually became. There is a rich history of great memories for you all. I remember how she put up with us playing football in the backyard and then coming in to watch the Steeler games being as loud as we were but she never said a word. She was a grand lady. She will be missed and I will be praying that the memories will stay clear in each of your minds as the pain of your loss is felt through the days/weeks/months.

  2. Cheryl and Steve Roquet | Mar 18, 2020

    Dear Don, Jenny, Gary, Richard, Paul and extended family,

     We will miss Mary Lou's warm smile, and wisdom.  We love all of you. God took her home to be with him, and we will see her again in Heaven, where he has prepared a mansion for her. God be with each one of you and give you his peace. God has probably said to Mary Lou, " Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

  3. Dorothy Hess | Mar 13, 2020
    Paul and Lori,  So sorry  for  your loss.  Know that  Scott  and  I  are  thinking of you both  during  this  difficult  time  and keeping  you in  our  prayers. Please  let us know if you  need anything. Scott  and  Dorothy  Hess 

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