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Mary Porteous

Mary Generose (Mahoney) Porteous of Urbandale Iowa, passed away on September 15, 2022.

She is survived by her daughter Mary and daughter-in-law Kim Porteous. She will live on in the hearts of her grandchildren, Shannon Mitchell, Scott Porteous, and Analee and Rex Gray; and her great-grandchildren Taitn, Jenah and Brysn Gray.

Mary was born December 31, 1925, in Ryan, Iowa. She was the middle child of nine, growing up during the depression, on the family farm near Ryan. Following graduation from St. Patrick’s High School she attended Iowa State Teachers College earning her teaching certificate. Mary then taught in the one room country schools of Coggin, Masonville, and Monte. One of the family’s great romantic stories surrounds Mary and Don’s courtship. After being introduced at a dance in Independence, he asked her out. On their first date they went to a movie in Manchester coming out to a raging blizzard. Don buried his dad’s model-T in a snowdrift about a mile from the Mahoney family farm. He carried Mary the rest of the way home. Don left for the service while Mary was teaching. Mary and Don took advantage of his leave prior to shipping out to Japan and were married August 28, 1945, in Ryan. The rule was married women were not allowed to teach so Mary applied her math skills and kept books for several companies over the years. Mary and Don had two children, Thomas born in 1947 and Mary in 1949, raising the family in Marshalltown. Mary worked in the accounting office of the Iowa Veterans Home for many years. Over the years they continued to enjoy dancing and the Big Band sound having many lessons with the Arthur Murray School of Dance. They were avid card players enjoying the company of other couples. Once the nest was empty, they moved to West Des Moines where she worked until her retirement. Following retirement, they relocated to Urbandale and were members of St. Pius X Catholic Church.

Mary is preceded in death by her husband Donald Porteous; her son Thomas Porteous; her parents, Mae (Sullivan) and Jerry Mahoney; brothers Dorance, LaVerne, William, James, and Richard; and her sisters Huberta Donlin, Lorraine Mahoney, and Colista Phillips. Mary is also survived by her sisters-in-law Marge Mahoney of Marion, IA (James) and Rosalind Mahoney (Richard) of Orland Park, Illinois.

Mary was an excellent cook. Throughout her life she enjoyed sewing, knitting, crocheting, and quilting. She made many lovely gifts for family and friends. The great joy of her life was time spent with her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, friends, and family. Mary was a woman of great faith with special devotion to the Blessed Mother and St. Therese of Avila and included all in need on her prayer list. She was stalwart in spirit and bore her pain largely without complaint. Mary loved to laugh and would at times reveal her inner Irish imp. But she was also often quiet with a gift of being able to listen to others. Mary will forever remain in our hearts and will be missed by all that knew her.

The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, September 23, 2022, at St. Pius X Catholic Church, Urbandale. Visitation will be held prior to the service at the church. We are grateful for your presence and hope you will join us for lunch after the service and share your memories. Mary will be laid to rest at a later date in Ryan with her husband Don.


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