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Mary M. Kearns, 99, passed away on Sunday, May 8, 2016 at Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, Iowa. A visitation will be held Thursday, May 12, 2016 from 6:00-7:00 p.m., at Stevens Memorial Chapel (607 28th St., Ames, IA 50010) with the Rosary said at 6:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, May 13, 2016 at St. Cecilia Catholic Church (2900 Hoover Ave., Ames, IA 50010). Burial will follow in the Ames Municipal Cemetery.

Mary was born on January 9, 1917 in Ames, Iowa to Clarence "Curly" and Imogene (Harbaugh) McNabb. She grew up in Ames, graduating class of 1935 from Ames High School before attending Iowa State College. She met the love of her life James "Bud" Kearns while working in the printing department on campus, and were married on June 20, 1940 in the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Fort Dodge. They were united in marriage for 60 years before Bud passed away. Mary and Bud were blessed with two daughters, MaryAnn and BettyJane.

Mary was mainly a housewife and mother, loved life on the farm and she was a vivacious reader including cookbooks. Mary enjoyed knitting, crocheting and sewing, as well as card games of pitch, hearts, or 31. She loved music, and playing the piano. She was a local 4-H leader for many years and was involved with her local Catholic Church. Mary was active in the Federated Women's Club, a member of Ames High School Alumni Association, and a Lifetime member of the Iowa State University Alumni Association, Ames Historical Society, and along with Bud, held the longest state membership in the Farm Bureau Association. Mary spent several years traveling around the country with Bud in what Mary called "Pickup Campers." She was a fan of ISU sports and filled many leadership roles in livestock-related women's groups that promoted the beef and pork industries.

Mary is survived by her daughters; BettyJane Kearns of Kelley, Iowa and MaryAnn (Robert) Gardner of Nevada, Iowa, grandchildren; Deb (Mike) Mitchell of Collins, Iowa, David Heintz of Loveland, Colorado, Becky McIntosh of Urbandale, Iowa, Dan Heintz of Nevada, Iowa, Sandra Heintz of Ankeny, Iowa, and Mark (April) Heintz of Nevada, Iowa, as well as 11 great-grandchildren, and 7 great-great-grandchildren.

Mary was preceded by her husband; James F. "Bud" Kearns in 1999, parents; Clarence "Curly" and Imogene, brother; Rawland "Bud" McNabb, sister; Florence McNabb, son-in-law; Sam Heintz, and great-granddaughter; Melissa (Flynn) Viers.

Memorials may be directed to Story County 4-H Foundation, Ames Historical Society, or the Ames Public Library.

Online condolences and thoughtful memories may be shared on Mary's page at