Cover photo for Ethel Mardesen's Obituary
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1912 Ethel 2010

Ethel Mardesen

June 16, 1912 — December 3, 2010

Ethel P.M. Mardesen, the daughter of Peter and Maggie Smith Jessen, was born June 16, 1912, at her parents home in rural Audubon County near Exira, Iowa and died December 3, 2010, at the Exira Care Center in Exira, Iowa at the age of 98 years, 5 months, and 17 days.
Ethel was baptized and confirmed at St. Johns Lutheran Church west of Exira. She attended rural school west of Exira and attended the Exira High School. Ethel then worked for several neighborhood families.
On July 20, 1933, she was united in marriage to Lawrence H. Hocamp at St. Johns Lutheran Church in rural Adair, Iowa east of Exira. Two daughters Donna and Opal were born to this union. They operated afarm northwest of Exira. Lawrence died onJanuary 23, 1947. Ethel then was employed as a housekeeper for several families and later worked at the Exira Creamery.
On January 7, 1950, Ethel married Leo F. Mardesen at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira. They farmed south of Brayton, Iowa then purchased a farm east of Exira. They raised livestock and grew grain. Ethel always had a large vegetable and fruit garden and raised chickens. Ethel and Leo enjoyed traveling both within the United States and internationally. They operated the farm until they retired and moved into Exira. Leo died February 18, 1991. Ethel enjoyed living at home until she moved to the Exira Care Center in January of 2007.
Ethel was a member of the Exira Lutheran Church and was a member of the Ladies Circle. She loved to dance, especially the Polka. She never missed a bingo game and also enjoyed playing cards. She loved being involved with her family especially all the activities of her grandchildren.
Ethel was preceded in death by her two husbands Lawrence H. Hocamp and Leo F. Mardesen; her parents; and her 3 brothers and 4 sisters.
She is survived by her daughters Donna Bjorn of Atlantic, Iowa and Opal and husband Donald Nelson of Hamilton, Texas; her step-son Ross Mardesen of Elk Horn, Iowa, her grandchildren Rebecca and husband Steve DePauw of Spencer, Iowa, Rick and wife Jinnohn Bjorn of Lincoln, Nebraska, Mary and husband Allen Oxley of Papillion, Nebraska, Bradley and wife Carrie Bjorn of Pinellas Park, Florida, Jeff Nelson, Doug Nelson, and Chris Nelson all of Texas; 15 great grandchildren, 11 great-great grandchildren; her step grandson Chad and wife TeresaMardesen of Omaha, Nebraska, two step great grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Cemetery:
Interment will be in the Exira Cemetery in Exira.

Visitation:
The family will meet with friends Monday, December 6, 2010 from 1:00 P.M. until the time of the service at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira, Iowa

Service:
Funeral services will be conducted by Vicar Rory Phillips on Monday, December 6, 2010 at 2:00 P.M. at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira, Iowa.

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