Obituary of Mary Renee Textor
In Loving Memory of Mary Renee Textor, we invite you to join us in celebrating a life well-lived. She left an indelible mark on the hearts of those she touched. Mary will be remembered for her empathy, creative spirit, sharp mind, and exemplary hosting.
Mary was born to Floyd and Naveda Midland at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. As a child she enjoyed being immersed in the outdoors, exploring the trails of Gull Point State Park, and launching her S-12 sailboat from Hiawatha Beach. She graduated from Marshalltown HS in 1967 and went on to Iowa State University where she excelled in The Arts. Mary painted in oil and watercolor, rendering several abstracts, illustrations, and scenes from Lake Okoboji. Classmates remember her as a kind student who bridged gaps between friend groups, which we would attribute to her sense of empathy and compassion. Mary had the ability to draw out peoples’ hopes and dreams in a conversation, finding the best in them nearly always. As a college student she traveled to Cyprus, bringing back many culinary inspirations – including her renowned baklava. Mary’s advice on cooking cuisine is to be adaptable, balance your flavors, and be keenly aware of visual presentation. She always kept fresh herbs on hand and asked for “more butter” as needed.
Mary met Thomas W. Textor at Lake Okoboji, IA and began a life with him soon after. They were married on New Year’s Eve, 1974 by a ships’ captain in the Gulf of Mexico. She loved Tom’s grown sons, often reflecting on what excellent fathers they are in their own families. She devoted herself completely to the idea of motherhood and making a home, raising two daughters with a dedication to their successful development. If you have heard Mary speak about TWT then you have a sense of the bond they shared in younger years and how it strengthened in the twilight times.
Tom & Mary were cornerstones in Des Moines, creating a sense of community with neighbors and family at their house on John Lynde Road. They also forged new friendships in their later years at Cobblestone. As hostess, Mary T served spectacular salads, spanakopita, stuffed pasta shells, pheasant, salmon, and her baklava to the delight of their many guests. Mary’s eye for interior design and décor was legendary. Her attunement to the natural world can still be seen in her thriving plants and landscaping. “Mimi” taught us to be economically conservative in tougher times, but to appreciate quality and craftsmanship. The home Mary built remains a sanctuary.
Mary has asked that we focus on living our lives with kindness and gratitude and hopes we understand that cancer treatment was just a small part of her life story. She extends a heartfelt thank you to her health care professional teams, hospice, and to all the friends and family who reached out and supported her in recent years with their thoughts and prayers. Mary was at home at the cottage on Manhattan Beach, Lake Okoboji when she passed with daughters Jessica and Kristana and her beloved dog Tango by her side. Mary will be interred next to Tom at the Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery in Van Meter, where her inscription will read “Love Lasts Forever”.
She revered her time with TWT and missed him greatly after his passing in 2014. Mary is survived by family:
Brother: Mark Midland & Betty Holland
Cousins: Sheilagh Lien, Philip Jergensen
M. Kristana Textor
Jessica Textor & Brent Harris
Jack & Susan Textor
KC & Mary Clarity Textor
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests contributions to
The Thomas & Mary Textor Endowment of the Greater Des Moines YMCA.