Eta Ann Mai was born Nov. 1, 1923, in Kingsley, the daughter of Louis and Mathilda (Ruhland) Sitzmann. Eta graduated from Le Mars High School in 1941 and attended Briar Cliff in Sioux City. She was united in marriage to Donald Mai on May 15, 1945 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Neptune, in a double wedding ceremony with her sister Mildred.
Following their marriage the couple moved to Florida and later Texas before Don was called to duty overseas. Following Don's discharge on Jan. 27, 1946, the couple farmed north of Remsen, for 16 years. They then moved to New Hampton in 1962 and farmed south of town.
Eta was a devoted wife and mother who enjoyed cooking, gardening and fishing trips with her husband.
She was a member of Holy Family Parish- St. Joseph's Center, Catholic Daughters and the St. Joseph's Rosary Society in New Hampton.
Eta is survived by her 15 children Dean (Jane) Mai of Elma, Pam Mai of New Hampton, Pat (Tom) Schwickerath of New Hampton, Lea (Joe) Throndson of New Hampton, Marlene (Jim) Gaffney of Hiawatha, Jeanne (Larry) Friedrich of Elma, Chuck (Darlene) Mai of New Hampton, Cyndy (Bob) Weiglein of Hiawatha, Don Jr. (Marilee) Mai of New Hampton, Jay Mai of New Hampton, Joy Tenge of Katy, Texas, Nyla (Gary) Recker of New Hampton, Philip (Claudia) Mai of Jacksonville, N.C., Teresa (Ron) Smith of Elma, and Gregg (Lori) Mai of New Hampton; 39 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; three sisters Alvina Nuebel of Le Mars, Dolly (Glenn "Buzz") Jauer of Sioux City, and Mildred Hoss of Le Mars; one brother Roy (Martha) Sitzmann of Kingsley; three sisters-in-law, Lola Johnson of Westside, Edna (Merle) Clark of San Clemente, Calif., and Margaret Mai of Encino, Calif.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Donald Sr. on June 30, 2005; and two brothers Sylvester and Venard.
Mass of Christian burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Holy Family Parish- St. Joseph's Catholic Church, in New Hampton, with Msgr. Carl Schmitt as celebrant. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery with Eta's six sons: Dean, Chuck, Don Jr., Jay, Philip, and Gregg Mai, serving as casket bearers.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Conway-Kolbet Funeral Home in New Hampton with a 4:30 p.m. rosary and a scriptural wake service at 5 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church Monday.
Online condolences for the family may be left at www.conway-kolbetfuneralhome.com