Mary Elizabeth VanNess Caldwell, 84 of Mexico, died Sunday, November 25, 2012, at home.
Mary was born on September 2, 1928, in Mexico, Missouri, the daughter of Harper Elliot and Mary Peyton (Meng) VanNess.
On October 2, 1948, she married C.W. Caldwell at the First Presbyterian Church of Mexico, with the Reverend Brown officiating.
Mary graduated from Mexico High School in 1946. In her early years, she worked for Southwestern Bell and Mexico Savings Bank. Later, she worked 23 years at First National Bank. She retired from there in 1993. Most of her time spent in retirement was with her granddaughter, Amy Bakke, building fond memories of watching daily soap operas, playing board games, and baking sugar cookies at Christmas.
More than anything, Mary enjoyed time spent with her family. Over the years, this time included many family gatherings with meals made with love. Treasured hobbies of hers were poetry and gardening. She wrote poems on various occasions for her family that will be cherished a lifetime. She was also a devoted member of the First Presbyterian Church for 72 years. She was always thinking of and praying for others. Her kindness and compassion were felt by many.
She is survived by her husband, C.W. Caldwell, two daughters and sons-in-law, Susan and Bobby Allen of Mexico, MO, Karen and Quentin Bakke of Mexico, MO; granddaughter, Amy Bakke of Mexico, MO; brother, Frank P. VanNess of Bellevue, IL.; seven nephews, Kevin VanNess and Keith VanNess of Breese, IL, Randy Cone and Dale Cone of Mexico, MO, Scott VanNess of Warrenton, VA, John VanNess of Washington, VA, Michael VanNess of Canton, OH; and nieces, Patti Gloeckner of Mascoutah, IL and Carol Morgan of Lake Mary, FL.
Mary was preceded in death by her father, Harper Elliot VanNess; mother, Mary Peyton (Meng) VanNess; sister, Anna Margaret "Peggy" Cone; and brother, Harper Elliot "Sonny" VanNess, Jr.
Private graveside services were held at East Lawn Memorial Park on Thursday, November 29, 2012, with Reverend Terry Kukuk officiating.
Memorial donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 400 Lakeview, Mexico, Missouri 65265.
Condolences at www.arnoldfh.com