Mardell I. Henze
Born: December 25, 1931; Shannon
Died: April 16, 2021; Freeport
SHANNON – Mardell Ivy (Frey) Henze took a seat on the bleachers of Heaven on Friday, April 16, 2021 at Manor Court in Freeport, surrounded by family who celebrated a life well-lived.
Ernest and Edna (Zier) Frey & big brother Gordon welcomed their baby girl on Christmas Day 1931 in rural Shannon. The family moved to Main Street Shannon, IL in 1936 to open The Gamble Store franchise and allow Mardell to begin first grade "in town." Mardell graduated valedictorian of her 1948 class and maintained lifelong friendships with her classmates and town friends. She attended Coe College in Iowa and married Robert "Bob" Henze on May 4, 1952 in Shannon.
They farmed on the Shiley family farm south of Shannon in tandem with Bob's career in the United States Postal Service plus his five decades as a fast and slow pitch softball player. Mardell kept everything running smoothly for a family who never sat still! Their life was filled with friends, family, sports, music, dancing, community events, travel, and fun times. Bob & Mardell, along with 5 other area couples, formed a 500 card club after the Korean War that met faithfully for over 5 decades forming bonds between the families which continue to this day.
After Bob's untimely death in 1988, Mardell continued the tradition of attending every game, meet, play, concert, match, and ceremony involving her family. Mardell was extremely proud of her heritage and made sure details of ancestors who travelled from Germany to America in the 1740's and from Leishershire, England to America in the 1830's were relayed via oral histories, artifacts, documents, and structures still standing around the Spring Valley area of Cherry Grove Township.
Mardell was preceded in death by her parents; husband Bob, brother and sister-in- law Gordon and Charlene Frey; mother-and father-in-law, Mae and Harvey Henze; and niece Tara Frey.
She is survived and will be dearly missed by her daughter Kay (Joel) Brooks, and sons Scott (Jan) Henze, Karl (Colleen Finn) Henze; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Koel (Maggie) Brooks and Sofie Joy; Jorden (Ben) Sasscer, Allie Elizabeth and Jack William Lee; Allison Henze, Lea Henze, Kaden Henze, Erin Henze, Kellen Henze; niece, Paula (LeRoy) Pilsner; and nephew, Steve (Delores) Frey.
The funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at Bethel United Methodist Church in Shannon at 12 p.m., with a visitation beginning at 10 a.m. Interment will take place at Brethren Cemetery in Shannon.
In lieu of flowers an Eastland & Forreston scholarship memorial fund has been established.
Condolences maybe shared at www.hermannfuneralhome.com
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Published by Prairie Advocate on Apr. 28, 2021.