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Mary Ellen's Story

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Mary Ellen Lunkley, 89, of Ottumwa, formerly of Agency, died at 9:28 p.m. June 12, 2017 at home.
She was born March 4, 1928 in Keokuk County, north of Hedrick to Lonnie and Edna Brown Bircher.
She attended elementary school in Keokuk and Wapello counties and attended Fremont High School as a freshman. Mary Ellen graduated from Blakesburg High School in 1946, attended college in Kirksville, MO and at Ottumwa Heights and graduated in 1974 from William Penn in Oskaloosa with a BA in Elementary Education. She taught at Hindu and No. 7 in Wapello County and taught 21 years at Blakesburg Elementary.
On May 27, 1949 she married Jack Lunkley at the Prairie City Brethren Church officiated by Rev. Charles Lunkley. They were the parents of four children.
Mary Ellen was a member of the Church of the Brethren, serving on the board and as a deacon for many years and a teacher. She was the recipient of the Valiant Women's Award from the Church Women United.
Surviving are her children, Lynnette (David) Baker of Ottumwa, Denise (Kevin) Holzhauser of Agency and Robin Scott ( Cindy) Lunkley of Arizona; daughter-in-law, Theresa Lunkley of Ottumwa; 5 grandchildren, Bryan (Kim) Baker, Stevie (Joe) Hazelwood, Natalie Baker, Sierra (Chris) Hildreth, Cody Holzhauser; step-granddaughter, Crystal Muehe; 6 great-grandchildren, Shane, Megan and Noah Baker, Shadlee and Trinity Hazelwood, Jaxon Baker; a sister, Donna Howard; and a brother, Dan (Connie) Bircher; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Jack on January 20, 2005; a son, Kenneth Lunkley; a granddaughter, Lindsey Nicole Holzhauser; a great-grandson, Shadam Hazelwood; a brother, Gordon Bircher; a sister, Carol Shilling; and a nephew, Aaron Howard.
Funeral services will be 3 p.m. Saturday at Reece Funeral Home with Pastor Dennis Doud officiating. Cremation will follow the services.
Visitation begins at 11 a.m. Friday with the family present from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.
Memorials may be made to Hospice serving Davis and Wapello Counties, 927 Pennsylvania Ave., Ottumwa, IA 52501.
Published on  June 13, 2017
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