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Mary Wilkening

Mary Elizabeth Wilkening, age 95, a longtime State Center resident, passed away on February 16. 2015, in Centerville, Iowa.  Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 10 AM on Monday, February 23, 2015, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in State Center with Rev. Rick Dagit officiating. Burial will be at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in State Center.  Visitation will be Sunday, February 22, 2015, from 5 – 7 PM with a Rosary at 4:30 PM at Mitchell Family Funeral Home, State Center Chapel. 


Mary was born in Boston, MA, on November 26, 1919, to Thomas and Delia Mitchell Connolly.  She grew up in the city enjoying spending summers at the beach with extended family at Green Hill and Nantasket.  She graduated from Roslindale High School in Boston.  She worked at the Massachusetts State House until her marriage.  She met her future husband, at a USO Dance before he left for the Pacific Theater in WWII.  She married Virgil H. Wilkening on February 2, 1946, in Boston.  They made their home in State Center, Virgil’s hometown, and raised their three daughters.  Together they owned and operated Wilkening Electric for several years.  Throughout the years, Mary was active in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Delta Nu Study Club, American Legion Auxiliary and several 500 and Bridge Card Clubs.  She and Virgil spent many years camping and boating with family and friends as well as traveling   throughout the United States. 


She moved to Centerville in 2004, continuing to enjoy the frequent visits from her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.  Mary will be cherished for her sweet nature and Bostonian accent.


Survivors include daughters  Daria (Barry) Chesnut, of Dillon, CO,  Patty (Ray) Tresemer of Centerville, and Ginny (Steve) Garretson of Muscatine.  Grandchildren:  Ryan Chesnut, Broomfield, CO, Patrick Chesnut, Aurora, CO, Megan (Matt) Phillips of Knoxville, Tom Tresemer of Atlanta, GA, Barry (Samantha) of Muscatine and Nicholas Garretson of Iowa City.  Great grandchildren:  Lauren and Lucas Phillips of Knoxville.  Preceding her in death were her husband Virgil, her parents, two sisters Margaret and Catherine Connolly. 


Memorials are established in Mary’s name to St. Joseph’s Catholic  Church in State Center or South Central Iowa NAMI.


For on-line obituary and condolences visit: or call 641-844-1234. 

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