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Fisch Funeral Home & Monuments
Monday December 19th, 2016
4:00pm - 4:00pm

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Mary Elizabeth Vander Molen

Mary E. Vander Molen, 85, of Le Mars (formerly of Remsen), Iowa, died peacefully Thursday, December 15, 2016.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 am Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Remsen, IA with Father William McCarthy officiating. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Remsen, IA. Visitation with family present will be from 4-8 p.m. Monday, December 19, 2016. There will be a parish rosary at 5 p.m. and vigil prayer service at 7 p.m. all at Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen. Visitation will resume from 8 a.m. until service time Tuesday, also at the funeral home.

Mary was born June 20, 1931 on a farm near Marcus, Ia., the daughter of Alphonse and Helen (Kellen) Schilmoeller. She grew up in the Granville, Germantown, and Struble areas. She was educated in Granville and graduated from St. Joseph Catholic High School. She moved to Le Mars, where she worked as a waitress at the Pantry Cafe, and in the kitchen at Sacred Heart Hospital. She met John R. Vander Molen at Archie's Waeside, where John says he “fell in love with her beautiful hair,” and then stole an earring as collateral for their first date. They were married a year later on January 31, 1955. They started their family, and lived on farms in the Struble & Maurice areas before moving to a farm near Remsen in 1970.

Mary raised 7 children to whom she dedicated her love and care, and will be remembered as a “mom to the max.” She was known for her wit and sense of humor. Mary was a gifted writer, and everyone enjoyed receiving her letters. She was a fabulous baker and cook. Mary loved being outdoors and spending time with her grandchildren. She was always a great sister, aunt, neighbor and friend. Her last two years were spent at Plymouth Manor, where she formed close relationships with both staff and residents. She will be missed by many.

She was a devout Catholic, and a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church of Remsen. Though a true servant of God and of heroic virtue, she narrowly missed sainthood as her miracles went unwitnessed. Her family waits vigilantly for probable post-mortem miracles.

She is survived by her husband John; 5 children, Ken and his wife Starla of Rapid City, S.D., Douglas of Sioux Falls, S.D., Mark and his wife Mary of Remsen, Ia., Todd of Sioux City, Ia., and Jodi and her husband Yogesh Chawla of Madison, Wi.; siblings Pat (Dick) McDougall of Coralville, Ia., Marge (Dudley) Kool of Sioux City, Ia., Bobbi (Cliff) Hansen of Le Mars, Fred (Peg) Schilmoeller of Sioux Falls, S.D., Victoria (John) Robbins of Elkhorn, N.E., and Dale Schilmoeller of Lake Wales, F.L.; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

She was preceded in death by two sons, Terry and Bradley; three brothers, Larry, Richard, and
Stephan; and a sister, Marla.

Casket bearers will be sons Ken, Douglas, Mark, and Todd Vander Molen, son-in-law Yogesh Chawla, and brother Fred Schilmoeller.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Vander Molen, please visit our flower store.


I rented a room at her grandparents house across the street from the old hospital where I worked in the '50's. There were six girls that worked in Le Mars that shared rooms there. Mary was our spiritual leader and a great friend. May she rest in peace. My sympathy to ...

Dolores (Schlesser) Arens Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

I called out to the farm one afternoon and when Mary answered I said, "Hi mom". We carried on quite a conversation before I told her who it was. And it was like one of those skits with Gilda Radner on SNL. "Oooooh well then, Dan how are you". And then we talked a whi...

Daniel Schumacher Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Sorry for your loss. Maybe she RIP. I know Marla thought the world of her. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family

Steve Boyer Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

May you RIP. I know Marlast thought the world of mary. Thoughts and prayers for the family

Steve Boyer Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Thinking of all my cousins and their families...and Aunts and Uncles... Aunt Mary memories.... always warm and kind. I remember her as a mom, farm wife, homemaker... a beautiful example of her Catholic namesake, the Blessed Mother Mary. I know she is with her sons Terry a...

Rachel Wurth Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM