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OBIT: Mary B. Graham

Mary B. Graham, 47, of Garner passed away peacefully with her family at her side, Monday, August 23, 2021 at MercyOne North Iowa Hospice Unit in Mason City after a brave fight with cancer.

Funeral services will be held 10 a.m., Saturday, August 28, 2021 at The Dock, 500 Main Ave., Clear Lake with Pastor Jason Miller officiating. Burial will follow at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery east of Garner.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Friday, August 27, 2021 at The Dock in Clear Lake and will resume one hour prior to services on Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to GoServ Global or to the Maddie and Mason Graham Educational Fund.

Mary Beth (Boehnke) Graham, the daughter of Mark and Roseann (Legler) Boehnke, was born April 28, 1974 at Mason City. She graduated from Garner-Hayfield High School in 1992. Mary continued her education at Central College in Pella and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies in 1996. An internship at StreetWise newspaper that was sold by homeless people greatly impacted her life, and after graduation, Mary spent a year volunteering in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Chicago, working at a women’s homeless shelter. On July 18, 1998, Mary married her high school sweetheart, Matt Graham at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Garner, Iowa. They lived in San Antonio, TX for 7 years where Mary worked with the homeless at Christian Assistance Ministry. On December 19, 2002, their daughter Maddie was born at 28 weeks, weighing 2 pounds, their “Christmas miracle”. In 2004, God brought the family back home to Garner. Son Mason was born August 2, 2005. Mary worked at several newspapers and nonprofits. After a mission trip to Haiti in 2013 through GoServ Global, Mary began working for the nonprofit as Development Coordinator and loved it! She especially enjoyed serving in Haiti and Peru through GoServ Global. She credits GoServ Global for strengthening her faith as she witnessed God’s miracles around the world. After attending the first IF:Gathering in 2014, Mary answered God’s call to bring the gathering to Garner to share God’s light to women in the Garner area. Since then, she has been blessed to help lead this event with an incredible team.

Mary enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, watching her children’s sporting events, writing, photography, reading, camping, serving on mission trips, and listening to worship music. She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Clear Lake.

Mary is survived by her husband of 23 years, Matt of Garner; two children, Maddie (18) and Mason (16) of Garner; her parents, Mark and Roseann Boehnke of Garner; her mother-in-law, JoDee Ward of Garner; her father-in-law, Ron Graham of Garner; one brother, Dan (Sue) Boehnke of Garner; two brothers-in-law, Denny (Bev) Graham of Keller, TX and Cory (Danielle) Graham of Lakeville, MN; nieces, Morgan and Kayle Graham; nephews, Jared, Trevor, Kyle and Riley Graham and Brody and Braden Boehnke; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Arthur and Lillian Boehnke; maternal grandparents, Jake and Sarah Legler; step mother-in-law, Sue Graham; and step father-in-law, Gene Ward.

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