Obituaries: Mary Gooden

Mary Lea (Switzer) Gooden, 68, of Milton, passed away Sunday January 15, 2017 at Good Samaritan’s Hospice in Ottumwa. Mary was born March 28, 1948 in Freeborn County, Minnesota to Merle L. and Margaret J. Stoa Switzer. She married Bob Gooden and they later divorced, but remained friends.


Mary grew up in Atkins, attended St. Stephens Lutheran School and graduated from Shellsburg High School in 1966. She then attended college in Kirksville, MO. Mary had worked for Van Buren County Court House in Keosauqua for many years in both the Assessors and Treasurers offices, until she retired. She was very generous in supporting many community initiatives and the Democratic Party. Mary loved to cook, many friends and community members benefited from her outstanding skills in the kitchen. A few of her activities included: Van Buren County Democratic Party Treasurer, Milton Legion Card Club, Cantril Jam Sessions, Milton Heritage Society, and Milton Blood Drive.


She is survived by a daughter, Robin Airy (fiancé Todd Kinnett) of Columbus, OH and a son, Ryan Gooden (Sandi) of Milton, two grand-daughters, Jordyn and Taylor Airy, two sisters, Judy Buhrow (Ralph) of E. Dundee, IL and Kathy Banks of Denver, CO, three brothers; Don Switzer (Pat) of Cedar Rapids, Darryl Switzer (Kristi) of Gilbert, AZ and Mark Switzer (Cathy) of W. Des Moines, and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Roger Switzer. Mary was a devoted mother, grandmother, sister and friend to many.

In accordance with her wishes her body has been cremated.  A celebration of life and luncheon will be held Saturday April 29, 2017 at 12 noon at the Milton American Legion Building in Milton, IA. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Mary’s honor and may be left at the service or mailed to the family at PO Box 181; Milton, IA 52570.