Mary Lucille (Mahaffey) ChabotAugust 24, 1923 ~ April 5, 2017 (age 93)
Mary Lucille “Mimi” Chabot (Mahaffey), 93, passed away due to complications of Alzheimer’s Disease at Accura Healthcare of Newton West on April 5, 2017. Mimi and her twin brother, Marion Lyle Mahaffey, were born at home August 14, 1923, in Newton, Iowa, to Opra Jasper Mahaffey, a typesetter at the Newton Daily News, and Mary Pearl Logsdon, a homemaker. Mimi graduated from Newton Senior High School, then completed cosmetologist training in Ottumwa, Iowa. She worked as a hairdresser in Newton until she enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps on March 30, 1944. She served on active duty at the U. S. Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California, until honorably discharged in 1945. Mimi married Rodolf Hector “Duke” Chabot on February 10, 1945, in Green Cove Springs, Florida, where Duke was serving on active duty with the U. S. Navy. One child, Freddie, was born to this union. Mimi and Duke divorced in 1950, and she returned to Newton where she raised her son. Mimi never remarried.
Mimi served the F. L. and W. F. Vernon families in Newton as housekeeper and cook for 25 years, then worked at the Vernon Company offices in the sample and file rooms in Newton for another 25 years. Mimi treated her office colleagues to her infamous popcorn every Wednesday, and people went out of their way to visit the sample or file rooms in search of her regular salty treat and seasonal homemade desserts. She retired from the world of work at age 75 in February 1999. Mimi attended the Sacred Heart Catholic Church for a short time after returning to Newton in 1951, but she was an active member of the First Assembly of God Church the majority of her life. In 1991, Mimi made the First United Methodist Church in Newton her church home.
The joys of Mimi’s life were her two granddaughters, Leanne and Courtney, and their five children. Her nickname, Mimi, came from her granddaughters who could not pronounce Mémère, the French Canadian familiar name for grandmother, when they first learned to speak. It came out of their youthful mouths as “Mimi.” She has been known as “Mimi” to all ever since. She enjoyed having her granddaughters spend time in her home watching television, playing board games, and teaching them how to make her homemade specialties including beef and noodles, corned beef and cabbage, divinity, fudge, lemon meringue pie, banana and pineapple cream pies, sugar cookies, cranberry bread and pecan tarts. The great grandchildren did not have the chance to learn to cook and bake alongside Mimi, but they did get to enjoy the fruits of her labor.
To many people, Mimi was known as a talented seamstress. In addition to making clothes for her granddaughters and baptismal gowns for all five great grandchildren, Mimi made costumes for countless productions at the Newton Community Theatre, and she always had a closet full of clothes she was hemming or altering for people throughout the community. Her sewing and crocheting expertise was all the more impressive, because she taught herself the craft.
Mimi fell into the grip of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2012 and became a resident of Accura Healthcare in Newton in August of that year. Mimi was predeceased by her parents, her brother, and her daughter-in-law, Lea Marjean Chabot (Wing). She is survived by her son, Ferdinand “Fred” (Judy) Chabot, of Newton, her granddaughter Leanne Schwickerath and great grandchildren Hannah and Josh Schwickerath of Newton, Iowa, and her granddaughter Courtney Chabot (Steve) Dreyer and great grandsons Jack, Will, and Nick Dreyer of Johnston, Iowa.
The family will greet visitors at the Wallace Family Funeral Home, 1115 E. 19th St. N., Newton, Iowa 50208, on Saturday, April 15, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. Mimi’s memorial service will follow the visitation at 11:00 a.m. Memorials may be given in Mimi’s name to the First United Methodist Church, 210 N. 2nd Ave. E., in Newton.