Mary Elizabeth Wantiez age 94 of Dandridge, Tennessee was embraced by the loving arms of her heavenly father Sunday, September 29th 2013. She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years William L. Wantiez Sr., grandson Jeffrey C. Wantiez, parents Earl V. and Louisa Upton Willits, siblings Lydia Willits, Gertude Hall, Ruth Hitch, and Rosella Lane. Brother Levi Willits survives her.
Mary gave life to sons William L. Jr., Earl B., and John E. Wantiez. She is survived by her sons; daughter-in-laws Barbara, Wanda, Gay, and Paula Wantiez; grandchildren Amy McConkey and husband Brian, Guy, and Darci Wantiez, Zachary C. and Dillon P. Shipley; great grandchildren Willow, Ensley, and Drew Weaver-all of whom she dearly loved. She will be remembered by family and friends for her optimism and zeal for life, as well as her gift for caring for others and willingness to demonstrate her Christian values of love and stewardship through volunteerism. Mary loved children and her church. She loved the Lord and was a Bible scholar who taught Sunday school and served on many committees and boards within the Independence, Missouri and Dandridge Methodist Church's. She was a graduate of Iowa State Teachers College; taught elementary education and later owned her own preschool. As a member of the greatest generation she worked for Lockheed during WWII building P-38 Lightning's in Burbank, California where she met her husband Bill.
The cookie jar was always full and she loved baking and cooking for family and friends. An avid gardener, she and Bill were also rose club members and winners of many silver cups while living in Independence, Missouri.
A memorial service to celebrate Mary's life will be held Sunday, October 20th at 6 P.M. at the First United Methodist Church in Dandridge. Cremains will be interred next to her husband in Bangor, Iowa following a graveside service at a later date. Those wishing to honor Mary may send a memorial gift to the Dandridge Methodist Church directed to the Children's Ministry, Library, Music or UMW fund.