Mary Ellen Gollhofer, 75, of Le Mars, died Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005, at her home in Le Mars. Mary died with dignity surrounded by her children after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
Mary Ellen Gollhofer was born March 24, 1930, at rural Kingsley, the daughter of William Emmet and Marie (Kimm) McDermott. She was raised in the Kingsley area and graduated from Kingsley High School in 1947. She was president of her senior class, president of National Honor Society and was voted "all around student." On Nov. 23, 1949, she married Paul Gollhofer at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Kingsley where they made their home. They at one time operated Paul's Bakery in Kingsley for several years. Over the years she worked at various cafes and bars in Kingsley, Remsen and Le Mars where they also resided. She was employed by Wells' Dairy from the early 1970s until 1990. She then worked at the Le Mars Daily Sentinel until retiring in 2003. Paul died Jan. 14, 1984.
She was a member of St. James Catholic Church, St. James Altar Society and Eagles Auxiliary.
Mary enjoyed life, her children, grandkids and great-grandkids. She had a gift of making people laugh with her numerous jokes and stories. She had a smile for everyone and treated others with kindness that many people called her "Mom." Many friends will remember one of her favorite lines, "I'm not too busy" to enjoy a Miller Lite on ice.
Survivors include one son, Al and his wife, Pat Gollhofer of Le Mars; five daughters, Rhonda and her husband, Gary Bohnenkamp of Remsen, Marsha Geier, Renee and her husband Doug DeHaan, and Denise Gollhofer and her special friend, Joel Ellensohn all of Le Mars, and Melissa and her husband, Ryan Jaqua of Sioux Falls, S.D.; eight grandchildren, Kevin, Brad and Joshua Gollhofer, Kara Harpenau, Kristen Ellen Smart, Courtney Loutsch, Anna Geier, Matthew DeHaan; two stepgrandchildren, Courtney and Jordan Jaqua; nine great-grandchildren; three brothers, Francis "Smiley" McDermott of Worthing, S.D., Robert McDermott of Kingsley, Vince and his wife, Delores McDermott of Clear Lake; one sister, Marie White and one sister-in-law, Lorraine McDermott, both of Kingsley; many nieces and nephews. Mary was considered "second mom" to her sister, Loretta's children. She is also survived by her faithful dog, Ol' Blue.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Loretta Gotto and Betty Schwebach; and three brothers, Leo, Mike and Dale McDermott.
Funeral services were at 10:30 a.m. today (Monday) at St. James Catholic Church with the Revs. James Tigges and Timothy Johnson officiating. Burial was in St. Michael's Cemetery in Kingsley. Visitation was after 3 p.m. Sunday at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars, with a parish rosary at 4 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7:30 p.m. The Fisch Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Casketbearers were Kevin, Brad and Joshua Gollhofer, Kara Harpenau, Kristen Ellen Smart, Courtney Loutsch, Anna Geier and Matthew DeHaan.