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Mary Elizabeth (Duncan) Edwards, 83, formerly of Jefferson City, died Saturday, August 20, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa. Mary Beth was born on Christmas Day 1927, in St. Joseph, Missouri, to George Swift and Lucille Craig Duncan. As a child she lived in Rushville and then Keytesville, where she graduated from high school. She earned degrees from Christian College in 1947, and the University of Missouri in 1949, majoring in home economics. Her first teaching position was in Bowling Green, the hometown of her future husband. On June 17, 1951, she and Harold W. Edwards were married. After four years of teaching in Bowling Green, she moved to Kennett where Harold would be county director with the Division of Family Services from 1954-1972. She was a consummate homemaker during their three children's formative years. In 1972, the family moved to Jefferson City where Harold served as assistant director of general services for the division. A long-time member of Community Christian Church, she served as pianist and was active in service work. She was well known in mid-Missouri for her artwork, which was nurtured by taking art classes at Lincoln University. Those classes prompted what she described as one of the most interesting phases of her life, "The painting and ceramics I especially enjoy - it's as though you're in another world when you're involved in creating an art work." A life-long learner, she earned bachelor's (1983) and master's (1985) degrees from Lincoln. She remained an active member of the community until an accident resulted in her relocation to Iowa in April 2009. Her husband Harold predeceased her on June 1, 1997. Survivors include their three children: John (Beth Ann) of Clive, Iowa; Thomas (Rebecca Schwartz) of Cleveland, Ohio; and Ann Moeller (John) of St. Louis; seven grandchildren; and sister Margaret Ann Duncan of Beaverton, Oregon. Memorial services will be Saturday, Sept. 3, at 11 a.m. at Community Christian Church. Her remains were donated for scientific and educational research and they will rest at the University of Missouri along with those of her husband and mother. Memorials are suggested to Community Christian Church, St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, or to a charity of the donor's choice.
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