Mary Jane Peeler, age 97, passed away on Tuesday October 22, 2019 at Golden Years Homestead in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. She was born in York Center, Ohio on February 25, 1922 to Charles F. and Imo Irene (Clapsaddle) Hathaway.
Her family moved from Louisville, Ohio to Kokomo, Indiana in 1929. She graduated from Kokomo High School with the class of 1940 and went on to attend Manchester College. She married Hollis L. Peeler in Andrews, Indiana shortly before he volunteered for the US Navy during WWII. After the war, they lived in Indianapolis where Mary Jane served as the secretary for the Indiana State Director of Agriculture & Veterans Affairs until Hollis graduated from the Butler University School of Pharmacy. After a brief stay in Elkhart, Indiana they moved to Columbia City, Indiana in 1950 when she and Hollis purchased the O'Daniel Drug Store which later changed to Key Drugs, Inc. In April of 2012, Mary Jane moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana to be closer to her family.
During their years in Columbia City, Mary Jane spent her time as a wife, mother, and homemaker. She was a member of the Columbia City United Methodist Church since 1951 where she served as a Sunday school teacher and choir member. She was a member of the Columbia City Order of the Eastern Star chapter 65, Sorosis, Epsilon chapter of Sigma Eta Sorority Fine Arts, Town and Country Home Extension and TOPS.
Over the years, Mary Jane shared her love of music in many ways. Beginning at the age of three, she performed song/dance on stage in costume at many theaters. During her school years, she sang in numerous choirs, recitals, operettas, and churches. At Manchester College, she was selected to perform in college groups. In later years she enjoyed singing in churches, Sigma Eta Sorority Fine Arts, and directing children's choirs.
Mary Jane always expressed kindness to all, and was an example to those who knew her of what it meant to live a Christian life.
Survivors include her daughters Kay Van of Fort Wayne, Jane (James) Currie of Jensen Beach, Florida, Carol (Mike) Johnson of Brownsburg as well as her brother Kermit Ray Hathaway of Fort Wayne. She is also survived by six grandchildren; Brett (Brenda) Van of Ft. Wayne, Lora Van of Ft. Wayne, Jennifer (Joe) O'Connor of Indianapolis, Mark (Shannon) Johnson of Indianapolis, Holly (Adam) Naylor of Brighton, Michigan, and Amy (Colin) Robertson of Glasgow, Scotland. She will also be missed by her 11 great-grandchildren; Sierrah Van, Briana Van, Caitlin O'Connor, Jack O'Connor, Meghan O'Connor, Molly O'Connor, Graham Naylor, Elizabeth Naylor, James Naylor, Noah Cook and Brycen Johnson. Mary Jane was preceded in death by her parents, husband Hollis Peeler, grand-daughter Heather Currie, and son-in-law Lon Van.
A gathering of family and friends will begin at 11:00 AM, October 28, 2019 at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City, Indiana. Her funeral service will follow at 1:00 PM. She will be entombed the following day at Washington Park East Cemetery in Indianapolis. Preferred memorials may be given to Columbia City United Methodist Church https://www.columbiacityumc.org , the Community Foundation of Whitley County https://cfwhitley.org/how-to-give , or the Visiting Nurse Foundation of Fort Wayne http://www.vnfw.org/donate-now . Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send her family condolences online.
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Three generations on the water.
I remember Mary Jane as one of the kindest ladies from my childhood thru the church and
also the neighborhood. As an adult, I also lived within the same neighborhood and remember
seeing her walk past my house on her way to town or the church. My condolences to the family at the passing of this beautiful Christian lady. Jana Reeg
Sincere sympathy on Mary Jane's passing. May you all find peace and comfort in your memories.
May each of you find courage to face tomorrow as you rest in the knowledge that we truly care about each of your needs and that we will walk beside you in your journey of grief.
Randy Grimes, Brett Gerber and the Staff of DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home
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