Mary Elizabeth Fern was born on 7 Sep 1902 in Cle Elum, Kittitas County, Washington. She married Clarence Coonrod, son of William Woolery Coonrod and Alice Elena Layne, on 31 May 1931 in Tulsa, Tulsa County, OK. She died on 19 Jan 1998 in Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana, at age 95. She was buried on 21 Jan 1998 in Saint Mary Cemetery, Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana.
Donald Coonrod recalls: My mother, Mary, was the only girl in her family. She was born Sept 7, 1902 in Elum, Washington. Her parents had been invited to Washington by her uncle, Joe P. Fern, and his wife Ellie. Her father moved to Washington State in July, 1902 hoping to improve his health. However, he was injured in the mines and the family returned to Scammon about 1903. They lived for a time on the farm of John Fern Sr near Scammon and Carona, KS. My mother took a teaching degree and taught grade school in Corona. She then went to Tulsa, OK to business college and worked for a newspaper. She met and married my father, Clarence Coonrod, in Tulsa. They moved to Chicksaw, OK, and then to Oklahomas City. My sister Mary and brother John were both born in Oklahoma. The depression deepened, and my parents moved from Oklahoma to Anderson, Indiana hoping for better opportunities. My sisters Alice and Eileen were born in Indiana, as was I. My parents have resided in Richmond, Indiana for many years.
An obituary was in the Richmond newspaper: Mary E. Coonrod, 95, formerly of 707 S.W. First St., died Monday, Jan 19, 1998, at Heritage Regency. She was born Sept. 7, 1902, in Cle Elem, Wash., to James and Mary Ellen McCormick Fern and had lived in this area for the past 63 years. She earned an associate's degree from Kansas State Teacher's College, attended business college and worked for a newspaper in Tulsa, Okla. She taught fifth grade at Saint Mary School and was a member of Holy Family Church.
Survivors include two daughters, Sister Michael Mary of Abby of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Conn., and Alice Mlekush of Helena, Mont.; and two sons, John F. Coonrod of Kettering, Ohio and Dr. Donald Coonrod of Lexington, Ky. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence C. Coonrod, in 1991; a daughter, Eileen Gatz; and seven brothers. Prayer service will be at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Riggle-Waltermann Mortuary followed by Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at Holy Family Church. Friends may call 5 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home.