Mary Rodawig Dunleavy

May 8, 2021

Many of us have been blessed by the care and love given by Mary Rodawig Dunleavy who passed away on May 8th, 2021. Six months ago, Mary was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Mary was born in Sioux City, Iowa, on June 7th, 1952,to Dr. Donald F. and Mrs. (Doris “Dienne”) Rodawig Jr. She grew up here at the lakes and graduated from Spirit Lake High School in 1970. Mary attended Western Iowa Technical College in Sioux City, Iowa, and Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg, Iowa, to earn her ADN nursing degree. She began her career with her father at Lakes Regional Hospital before moving to Mesa, Arizona.

For twenty years, Mary was an oncology nurse and then Director of Nursing in Mesa. On January 20, 1990, Mary married Gerry Dunleavy. Gerry has a son, Jason, whom Mary loved as her own. They were blessed with a daughter, Jessica,on July 7th, 1990, and moved back to Mary’s lifelong favorite place – Okoboji, Iowa. Together, they joined St. Joseph’s Church in Milford and assisted as Eucharistic Ministers. Mary cared for many in the lakes area working as the House Supervisor for Lakes Regional Healthcare and Public Health Manager for Dickinson County Public Health. She loved being a nurse and helping other nurses succeed. 

Mary is Survived by daughter, Jessica Dunleavy, and four grandchildren: Aubree, Mason, Rylee and Evelyn (Spencer, IA.); her ex-husband Gerry Dunleavy (Terril, IA.) and step-son Jason Dunleavy (Milford, IA.); her father Dr. Donald F. Rodawig Jr. (Spirit Lake, IA.) and six siblings. Siblings are Don (partner Jan Beck) Rodawig III, Okoboji, IA; Ann Dinklage (partner Rex Potter) Spirit Lake, IA; Jane (Dan) Hummel, Spirit Lake, IA; Elizabeth (Steve) Bennett, Des Moines, IA; David (Michelle) Rodawig, Spirit Lake, IA; and Dan (Suzanne) Rodawig, Champagne, IL. Highlights of Mary’s life were the visits with her many nieces and nephews. She loved each and every member of her family, cherished her friends and found great peace at the lake.

She was preceded in death by mother, Doris “Dienne” Duling Rodawig, and her nephew Jackson David Rodawig.

Mary put others before herself and especially took pride in caring for her grandchildren, Aubree, Mason, Rylee, and Evelyn were her greatest joys. She was also an avid Hallmark movie watcher and Longmire fan.

A visitation will be held in the community room one hour ahead of the Celebration of Life Mass at St. Joseph’s Church in Milford, IA. Mass is scheduled for Wednesday, May 12th, at 10:30. Lunch will be served afterwards. Burial will be following these events at St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Spirit Lake, IA. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to 21358 155th Street, Spirit Lake, IA 51360 where a post educational fund is being set up for Mary’s grandchildren.