ALICE “MAUREEN” HAY
Alice “Maureen” McMahon Hay, age 88, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died peacefully Thursday, September 16, 2021 at the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy, surrounded by her loving family.
Rosary at 3:15 pm Monday, September 20 at Laufersweiler-Sievers Funeral Home, Fort Dodge, immediately followed by a liturgy service; visitation will be 4-6 p.m at Laufersweiler Funeral Home. Msgr. Kevin McCoy will preside at the Mass of Christian Burial 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 21 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fort Dodge, Iowa; burial following at Corpus Christi Cemetery.
The “black-haired beauty from Barnum,” Maureen is survived by Gene, her beloved husband of 69 years. She was treasured by her family: daughter Kathleen and son-in-law Tom Bednar, Hiawatha; their children Susan Bednar and her son John, Cedar Rapids; Thomas Bednar and Katherine Smith and their children Clara and Samuel of Washington, D.C.; son Stephen and daughter-in-law Julie, Marion; Julie’s children Sara and Greg Carson, Central City; Matt and Renae Thompson, Marion; and Lauren and Jeff Morris, Boca Raton, Florida. Steve and Julie’s grandchildren are Claire, Logan, and Hunter Carson, Scarlet and Ruby Thompson and Drew, Jeremy and Remy Morris; daughter Mary Alice of Minneapolis, Minnesota and her son Niles King of Oro Valley, Arizona.
Maureen is also survived by her much-loved sister Petronilla (Pate) Schuh, Leesburg, Florida; and much-loved sister-in-law Joan McMahon, Dunedin, Florida. Maureen was adored by her many nieces and nephews.
Maureen was the cherished daughter of Alice Loretta Hood McMahon and Mortimer “Mert” Francis McMahon of Barnum, Iowa. She was born October 30, 1932 at Mercy Hospital, Fort Dodge, the first in her family born in a hospital. Her father sold a load of corn to pay the hospital bill so Maureen could join her family at home. She was proud to be twelfth of fourteen children and she grew up on the McMahon family farm located near Barnum. Her older sister Helen was her teacher at the small country school located on a corner of their farm. Maureen graduated from Barnum High School in 1950, active on the girls’ basketball team, cheerleading squad and as a class officer. After graduation, Maureen moved to a boarding house in Fort Dodge and was employed as a long-distance telephone operator at Central Telephone Company.
During high school, Maureen met Gene Hay, a junior college student, at a dance at the Laramar Ballroom in Fort Dodge. Maureen and Gene were married November 24, 1951 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Barnum. Their Nuptial Mass was presided by Reverend Patrick Shanahan. At the wedding reception, Gene and his college friends serenaded the new bride with “My Wild Irish Rose.”
Gene and Maureen began their married life in Columbia, South Carolina where Gene served in the U.S. Army from April 1951 to April 1953. Maureen worked in a bookstore in Columbia. When Gene’s military service was completed, the Hays returned to Fort Dodge with their infant daughter Kathleen. A few years later Maureen resumed working at Central Telephone Company. Gene worked in the Fort Dodge gypsum industry and was promoted to Brunswick, Georgia in 1973 and to Cuba, Missouri in 1977. In Georgia, Maureen worked at the Cloister Hotel on Sea Island and did catering and office cleaning during their time in Missouri. Maureen and Gene began their retirement life in Eustis, Florida in 1996. In July 2016 they relocated to Cedar Rapids to be closer to their family.
Like her mother and sisters, Maureen was an extraordinary cook and gracious hostess. She loved to entertain and bring beauty to her home and gardens. Maureen was deeply devoted to her faith, her large family and her Irish Catholic heritage, and many dear friends across the country. She enjoyed traveling, especially her three trips to Ireland. In 2011, she attended the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin and was interviewed by Irish National Television. The following day she met the Mayor of Dublin and he exclaimed, “I saw you on the telly!”
Maureen was preceded in death by her infant children Susan Maureen and Joseph Eugene; her siblings Donald; Mary Anderson and husband Donald; Eugene and wife Jane; Helen Crilly and husband John; Catherine O’Neil and husband John; Anna Marie Best and husband Robert; James and wife Rita; Robert and wife Blanche; Hubert and wife Irma; Mortimer “Mert”; Merle; Joan Smith and husband Richard; and brother-in-law Donald Schuh; nieces Jean Anderson Riley, Sheila McMahon Shuttler and Elizabeth Crilly; nephews John Thomas McMahon, Robert Anderson, Patrick O’Neil and Donald McMahon; and Gene’s parents Lyvern and Marie Trausch Hay and his brother James Hay and wife Joyce.
Maureen’s memory is a blessing and comfort to her family, and we will carry her strength and love in our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy, 315 18th Avenue, Hiawatha, Iowa 52233 (https://www.mercycare.org).