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Anna Marie Best

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Anna Marie Best Obituary
Anna Marie Best


Anna Marie Best, 91, passed away with her family present on February 10, 2014 at Israel Family Hospice House. The visitation with the family will be from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. with a prayer vigil at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, February 14 at St. Cecilia Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, February 15, also at St. Cecilia.

Anna Marie Best was born May 14, 1922 to Mortimer Francis (Mert) and Alice Loretta (Hood) McMahon in rural Barnum, Iowa. Anna Marie grew up on the farm in rural Barnum and graduated from Barnum High School in 1939. She later graduated from A.I.B. in Des Moines while at the same time working for Gordon Gammack, a columnist for the Des Moines Register. She married Orlo Robert (Bob) Best on February 19th, 1946 and they raised eight children. She worked at the Des Moines Ordnance Plant in Ankeny in the early 1940's and typed thesis for doctoral candidates at Iowa State University. --"Yes On A Typewriter", manual then electric. She also worked 26 years for the Iowa Highway Commission, which became the Iowa DOT in the Data Processing and Materials Lab, retiring in 1986. She had been a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Ames since 1945, was a 50+ year member of Catholic Daughters of the Americas, the St. Gertrude Circle. Anna Marie and her husband also worked with FEMA after disasters in Florida, New Jersey, Hawaii, Missouri and Iowa. She loved to cook, collect recipes, golf and bowl. Anna Marie and Bob loved dance, traveled the states and knew the location of most every Elks Club. She loved to tell stories of their adventures. The Barbados trip is always a great laugh.

Anna Marie is survived by her children, Bob (Kathy), Bill (Peggy), Ben, Barry (Darla), Brian, Barbara Banks, Beverly and Bridget (Errol Wilkinson); her brother, Mert McMahon; and her sisters, Maureen Hay, Joan Smith and Pate Schuh . Survivors also include 17 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; her brothers, Donald, Eugene, Hubert, James, Robert and Merle; her sisters, Mary, Katherine and Helen; and her son-in-law, Gary Banks.

Memorial contributions will be directed to St. Cecilia's and to Israel Family Hospice House. Condolences and photos may be shared at


Published in Des Moines Register on Feb. 13, 2014
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