Mary Margaret Ernst

Mary Margaret Ernst

Mary Margaret Ernst

Cedar Rapids

Mary Margaret Ernst, 78, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed away Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, at her home surrounded by her loving family. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Cedar Memorial Chapel Stateroom. A memorial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, with the Rev. Dennis Miller officiating. Friends may visit with the family after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the church. Inurnment will follow at St. Johns Cemetery.

Mary was born April 2, 1944, in Estherville, Iowa, the daughter of James and Armella (Sturm) O’Brien. After high school, she attended Mount Mercy University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in education and began her teaching career. Mary was united in marriage to Gary Ernst on June 11, 1966, in Estherville, Iowa.

Mary had a passion for helping others. Throughout her education career, she taught high school and junior college. She enjoyed boating, attending her son’s sporting events as their biggest fan, traveling and cooking. Mary was well known for her award-winning blue-ribbon chicken. She was a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts, homeroom mother throughout her son’s elementary school years as well as PTA president. Mary was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, Elmcrest Country Club and Glen Oaks Country Club.

Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Gary; two sons, David of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Matthew of Morrisville, N.C.; granddaughter, Zayla; sister, Patricia Wilson of Scottsdale, Ariz.; her special dog, Murphy; and extended loving family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Sheila Sundell.

The three things that were most important to Mary were her family, her faith and living life to its fullest. Her dedication to those she cared for will leave an everlasting remembrance of love and warmth. Mary battled her illness with bravery, courage and strength. Her drive to live was an inspiration for all who knew her. She will be remembered for being a loving wife, mother, sister, nana, aunt and friend with a huge heart.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Hospice of Mercy and the Family Caregivers Center of Mercy.

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