Mary (Gannon) Meis

Perry Chief

Mary Ellen (Gannon) Meis, eldest child of Marcus & Irene Gannon, sister of Margaret and Julia, and beloved wife of John Meis, was born at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, on April 24, 1938.

She suffered a hearing loss from scarlet fever at the age of two, but worked through this challenge by learning how to read people’s lips. She graduated first in her class of four from St. Patrick’s High School and subsequently graduated from Mount St. Clare College in Clinton, Iowa.

After graduating, Mary worked as a typist at Iowa State University, before caring for the elderly in a Perry nursing home and later working at Beebout’s hardware store. As a volunteer secretary for St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, she met the love of her life, John Meis, an English teacher from Adel. They married a year later at St. Pat’s church on July 18, 1970.

Mary had three boys, Conrad, Peter, and Bernard, and faithfully attended their many sporting and other extra-curricular activities. Shortly after the boys graduated, Mary worked part-time at the Adel Public Library and as the recreational director at Adel Acres nursing home before retiring. As a parishioner at St. John’s parish in Adel, she co-founded “Reach Out,” a program to help people in need, distributed Holy Communion to the sick and homebound, and was involved in the Adel food pantry. As her understanding and appreciation for her Catholic faith grew, she eventually became a third order Carmelite later in life.

Since December, 2015, Mary enjoyed her last several years at Spring Valley Retirement Community, where she could be found playing cards, exercising, and meeting new people. After experiencing multiple organ failure on May 25, 2020, she passed away from the same hospital in which she was born 82 years earlier to embark on her final journey to meet her Maker and her husband in heaven.