Cover photo for Mary Elizabeth Kemm's Obituary
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1923 Mary 2024

Mary Elizabeth Kemm

September 15, 1923 — February 6, 2024


Mary Elizabeth Kemm, passed away peacefully February 6, 2024 at Fivestar Residences of Lafayette. She was born September 15th, 1923 in Detroit to Carl and Martha Kemm.

After graduating from Napoleon Ohio High School in 1941, Mary went on to study General Home Economics at Ohio State University, graduating with a B.S. in 1945.  She also married in 1945 and went on to have 5 children, Susan, Kathryn, Stephen, Joel, William.  She was a wonderful mother and was the foundation of our family, through and through. She was an excellent gift giver, always knew the right thing to say, never missed a special date.  She blessed us all with her infectious sense of humour even in her 100th year on this earth.

Mary was a strong woman and when she became a single mother with a houseful of kids, she built herself a career with Purdue University and the Indiana County Extension Service, where she worked just shy of 20 years.  She retired in 1986 having worked the final four years of her career in Benton/Newton Counties (Indiana) as an Area Extension Agent.  In this position she planned and implemented adult educational programs in housing, home furnishings, textiles and fibres, nutrition, and human development

Mary loved to cook and more importantly to eat, was highly skilled with knitting needles and sewing machine, and later in life enjoyed travel to Alaska, the east coast and the American west to visit her children.  A farm girl at heart, gardening was also a passion.  In her post-retirement years, she meticulously maintained beautiful gardens and landscaping on the Ohio farm where she grew up.  The jewel of her garden plots was her herb garden where she cultivated numerous annuals and perennials.  The herb garden was artistically adorned with objects such as borders defined by vintage blue English dinnerware stood on edge, small garden sculptures and most notably, “Phoebe”, a tongue-in cheek scarecrow that fashionably changed dresses and bonnets with each new season.  Mary ultimately was awarded an Ohio State Master Gardener certificate.

Mary was predeceased by her first child, Susan. She is survived by her children, Kathryn, Stephen, Joel, and William; grandchild, Sarah; plus 3 great grandchildren.

Mary was a passionate animal lover and following cremation it was her wish for her ashes to join the ashes of “Brie”, her beloved Newfoundland dog (and numerous other pets), at a special location in an aspen grove on a Colorado mountain.

Arrangements entrusted to Comfort Cremations, 674 N. 36th Street, Lafayette, IN  47905.

(866) U-R-Loved

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