M ary Elizabeth Ward Colwell, 92, of Centralia died peacefully surrounded by family Saturday, January 12, 2013, at the Eastridge Care Home.
Mary Elizabeth was born September 13, 1920, at home on the family farm southwest of Centralia to Floyd August and Helen Augusta Flentie Ward. She attended grade school at District 102 Hog Corner and graduated from Centralia High School. She went on to attend Strickler’s Business School in Topeka. She and her husband, Max, owned and operated Colwell Motor Company until the 1980's when they retired.
Mary Elizabeth married Max Raymond Colwell August 23, 1941. The couple lived in Centralia.
She was a member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ where she held many leadership positions. She was also a member and past president of the Armstrong Moyer American Legion Auxiliary Post 216, Centralia, a member of Seneca VFW Post Auxiliary, and the Eastern Star Chapter #180. She served on the cemetery board for the Centralia Cemetery for many years and was also active in the Girl Scout program. Mary was an avid card player and loved spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Mary Elizabeth is survived by four daughters, Ann E. Mars, Vermillion, Susan L. Figge, Wamego, Martha J. Skoch, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Maxine R. Brown, Springfield, Missouri; 10 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Max, her parents, two brothers; Floyd Raymond, Robert Lee, an infant daughter, Dorothy Helen Colwell and a son-in-law Lyle R. Figge.
Celebration of her life will be 10 am Saturday, January 19, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Centralia conducted by Reverend Bill Shea. Visitation will be from 9 am Saturday until the service begins. Organist Julie Gleason, Cyril Steinlage and Louella Talley will provide the music. Honorary casket bearers are Sheri Burdiek, Alan Mars, Stacy Rempe, Jay Mars, Eric Figge, Brandon Figge, Megan England, Frank Skoch, Sarah Mahaffey, and Joseph Brown. Interment will be in the Centralia Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be left to the First Congregational United Church of Christ or Centralia Schools and may be sent in care of the Hayes-Popkess Funeral Home.
Hayes-Popkess Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.