Obituary: Mary Kirkland


Mary Elizabeth (Shetler) Kirkland, 98, of Geneseo, passed away on Jan. 9, 2022, at Hammond Henry Hospital. Visitation will be held from 12-1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14, at Vandemore Funeral Homes and Crematory-Geneseo Chapel. Funeral service will follow at 1 p.m. at the funeral home. She will be laid to rest at Moline Memorial Park. Memorials can be made in her name to the American Cancer Society or American Heart Institute.

Mary was born on July 19, 1923, the daughter of Jonas and Sophia (Wolf) Shetler.  Born in Illinois City, she graduated from Reynolds High School in 1941.  She married Paul Kirkland at a service in St. Louis in 1942.  Mary worked at Hon Industries, Eckhart, Goedken, and Burns, while she lived in Muscatine. She was president of the Paddle Wheel chapter of the National Secretary Association. She retired from John Deere, East Moline, where she worked in the accounting department. During her lifetime she always had a garden and enjoyed canning vegetables.  After she retired, her passion was her garden and her beautiful flowers.  She was very involved in the Town and Country Unit of HCE, holding many positions.  All her grandchildren and great-grandchildren held a very special place in her heart.

Those left to cherish her memory include her children, Gerry (Carol) Kirkland, Rock Hill, S.C., Bonnie Browning, Paducah, Ky., Karen Franzen, Muscatine, and Marcia (Donald) Ekin, Cambridge, Ill., several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Jonas and Sophia; her husband, Paul; grandsons, Mike Franzen and Shane Ekin; great-grandson, Darius French; sons-in-law, Wayne Browning and Dellwyn Franzen; siblings Merle Shetler, Anna Brugman, Laura Fuhlman, John Shetler, and Dorothy Shetler; and special friend Stanley Speller.


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