Mary Price

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Mary Price

Des Moines

Mary Leota Price lived in the same Highland Park home throughout her 85 years, first as the youngest child of Martha and Harry Parlee and baby sister to Byrdie, Brady, Cozy and Effie. Later, she was loving caretaker of their mother until Martha's death in 1974, and later still she was wife of William (Bill) Price who patiently courted Mary for 20 years.

Although her highest level of schooling was as a graduate of North High School, she absorbed the equivalent of an advanced degree as a photo technician and proofreader for Meredith Publishing Company, where she worked for 44 years until her retirement in 1989. As she expertly checked facts, spelling and grammar, she filled her head with reams of information and images.

Her love of nature was expressed by a lifetime of feeding and befriending birds and small animals who visited her magical, award-winning yard of flowers and greenery.

In addition to gardening, she sewed garments and cross-stitched wall hangings with the same perfectionism. Late in life, she earned her first driver's license, then created genealogy records that now bring family history to life for her younger relatives. At the age of 82, she learned to use her first laptop computer, avidly e-mailing friends and family and continuing to quench her thirst for knowledge.

Mary's husband, siblings, nephew John Wesley Myers and friend Ray Woods preceded her death on August 5, 2012.

Her nieces and nephews will always cherish the years she was like a second mother and playmate to them. They are Andrea Ashley (Wendall), James Myers (Jane), Mark Parlee (Patricia), Jonathan Parlee (Pamela), Marie Parlee, Grace Parlee, Jim Parlee (Kris) and Steve Parlee (Kim); as well as her sister-in-law, Marjorie Parlee.

Services to celebrate Mary's life will be held Wednesday, August 8 at 10 a.m. at Henderson Funeral Home, 3500 Sixth Avenue. Visitation will be held Tuesday (TODAY), August 7 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the family present between 5 and 7 p.m.


Published in Des Moines Register on Aug. 7, 2012
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