Mary Ellen Hoyer
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MARY ELLEN HOYER Iowa City Mary Ellen Hoyer, 80, died peacefully Thursday, April 18, 2019, at the Bird House Hospice surrounded by her family. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at St. Patrick's Church with Father Ed Fitzpatrick and the Very Rev. Rudolph Juarez concelebrating. Visitation will be Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, Iowa City, where a rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Regina Foundation or the Bird House Johnson County Hospice. Mary Ellen was born on March 29, 1939. She was the daughter of Michael and Viola (Eagle) Ryan. They lived on a farm near Solon. Mary was a graduate of Solon High School and the Mercy School of Nursing. On Feb. 13, 1965, Mary married Thomas O. Hoyer. Mary was employed as a nurse at UIHC and Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids and was a case manager at VAMC. She also had taught in the nursing program at Kirkwood College. She was a nurse for more than 44 years. Most important to Mary was her family. Throughout the years she was involved in her children's activities. Her grandchildren brought special joy to her life. Her favorite role was that of Nana. Mary never missed their school functions or other activities. Favorite times were travelling to see family and friends, attending baseball spring training games and cheering on the Hawkeyes at football and baseball games. For more than 50 years Mary and Tom had season tickets for Hawkeye football. Mary was a member of St. Patrick's Church, the Church's Social Action Committee and University Women's Club. Mary was proud of her Irish heritage. She was co-founder of County Johnson Irish and was instrumental in organizing the annual Cedar Rapids SaPaDaPaSo parade (St. Patrick's Day Parade Society). Mary is survived by her loving husband, Tom; and their four children and eight grandchildren, Bret Hoyer of Cedar Rapids and his children, Chrissie and Braden; Kelly (John) Ward of Springville and their children, Delaney, Ellie and Joey; Kasey Hoyer of Iowa City; and Brooke (Chris) Holahan of Cedar Falls and their children, McKenna, Kate and Cullen; her siblings, Michael (Barb) Ryan of Iowa City, Dan Ryan of Solon and Jean Spurgeon of Iowa City; sisters-in-law, Marianne (Tom) Dardis, Sheila Dingrando and Sharon Dante; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Patrick and Dennis; and brother-in-law, Tom Spurgeon. The family would like to extend their appreciation to all the caregivers at the Bird House. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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Published in The Gazette on Apr. 21, 2019.
Mass of Christian Burial
10:00 AM
St. Patrick's Church
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service
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6 entries
April 28, 2019
Dear Tom and Family, So many will feel the loss of Mary. She was so energetic, and always positive. I interfaced with her a few times while working at the VAMC. I would like to share with you a simple writing, author unknown, that has meant a lot to me: "The hardest part of losing someone isn't saying goodbye, but rather learning to live without them....always trying to fill the void, the emptiness that is left within your heart. For grief never ends, but it changes. It is a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith. It is the price of LOVE."
Friends and family care and are concerned as you grieve your partner's passing Let their concern be a comfort to you. Present friends and friends from years ago. Sincerely,
Patsy (Bybee) Sharp
April 27, 2019
Dean Shannon
April 25, 2019
As you remember your love one, as God heals your broken hearts (Psalm 147:3), may your treasured memories continue to bring you peace, comfort, and strength to endure.
April 21, 2019
Mary & Tom were so instrumental to the success of SaPaDaPaSo it's hard to imagine what would of happened to the Great Society without them.
She will truly be missed.
God Bless her
Jim Hynes
April 21, 2019
To the family and friends, I send you my condolences at this time of grief. May the God of all comfort be with you now and forever, and give you peace and hope. Jeremiah 29:11,12.
Amanda G
April 20, 2019
Kind thoughts are with your family at this very difficult time of grief. May your fond memories bring you comfort. May God's promise at Jeremiah 29:11,12 give you strength to endure.
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