Mary Kessler McGraw, 96 passed away on December 26, 2021 after a short illness at River Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care in Coppell, TX.
Visitation will be on April 13, 2022 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm at the Belmond UCC, followed by funeral services at 2:00 pm officiated by Pastor David Boogerd, and a fellowship hour at the church. Burial will be in the Belmond Cemetery, Belmond, IA after the fellowship hour.
Mary was born on April 13, 1925 to Robert and Constance “Connie” (Brooks) McGraw in Knoxville, IA.
Mary graduated from North High School in Des Moines in January 1943, where she was editor-in-chief of the North High newspaper and a member of the choir. She attended Drake University in Des Moines, IA. During World War II she worked in Washington, D.C. for Army Intelligence in the Information and Liaison Division and in Los Angeles for the FBI. She married Dale M. Kessler in 1946 and moved to Belmond, IA to work in and support Dale’s business, Kessler Drug. Together they loved to dance and play golf. In addition to her bookkeeping work at the store and raising her family, Mary was also active in the Belmond community. She was a servant leader in the Belmond UCC Congregational Church; Century Club; Boy Scouts; Camp Fir Girls; Belmond Community Schools; Easter Star; and P.E.O., Chapter LV. Mary was also a master tailer; very talented at needlepoint, other types of needlework and decorating; enjoyed playing bridge in several bridge clubs; and loved to sing in the church and community choirs.
Following Dale’s death in 1982, Mary enjoyed spending time in the winter in Scottsdale, AZ with sons Preston and David. In 1985 she met and married Kenneth L. Maxwell. They loved their long car trips travelling to all lower 48 U.S. states and their touring in Europe and the UK. They lived in Fountain Hills, AZ for 13 years until his death in 1998. In 2000, Mary Married Leland C. McGraw. They enjoyed many cruises throughout the world and trips to Hawaii, Israel and Jordan. They lived in San Mateo, CA until Lee’s death in 2008. That same year Mary moved to Texas to be closer to her daughter Kathy and family, and enjoyed her time going to granddaughter Emma’s events and holidays with family.
Mary was proceeded in death by her parents; husbands, Dale Kessler, Kenneth Maxwell and Leland McGraw; daughter-in-law, Kristine Kessler; son-in-law, Vincent Wyrostek; grandson David Hodson; brother, Robert McGraw; and sister, Margaret Johnston.
Mary leaves behind a loving family who celebrates her long life; brother, Robert (Sharon) McGraw of Johnston, IA; sons Jeffrey Kessler of Ankeny, IA, Preston (Peggy) Kessler of Maricopa, AZ, and David Kessler of Scottsdale, AZ; daughters Connie Wyrostek of Albany, OR and Kathyryn (Bryan) Eells of Coppell, TX; grandchildren, Jennifer Kessler, Emily Hodson, Katie (Mark) DeSimone, Jeff (Kelly) Kessler, Archie Hebron, Daniel (Tanya) Hebron, and Emma (Spencer) Sanderlin; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great grandson; sister-in-law, Sharon McGraw; and many extended family members and friends.
Memorials to the Belmond UCC (116 West Main Street, Belmond, IA 50421) and P.E.O. Educational Projects (donations.peointernational.org) are preferred. Expressions of sympathy may also be sent to Kathryn Eells, 485 Coppertone trail, Coppell, TX 75019.
Funeral services are being handled by Andrews Funeral Homes, Belmond, IA.