Mary Ruth Harlan, 79, of Des Moines died on Monday, February 5, 2018, at Accura Healthcare of Newton West. The family will greet friends from 2-5 p.m., Friday, February 23, at Plymouth Church, 4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, Iowa, followed by a Celebration of Mary’s life at 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Plymouth Church or the First Unitarian Church may be left at the church the day of the service.
Mary, the daughter of Ellis and Julia (Blount) Harlan, was born on November 17, 1938 at Des Moines General Hospital. She grew up in Newton and graduated from Newton High School in 1957. Mary continued her education receiving an undergraduate degree from Drake University, a MA in Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University, and a MS in Urban Affairs & Policy Analysis from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. In 1984, Mary moved to Des Moines where she worked for the State of Iowa in the Department of Public Health. Mary was a member of the AAUW, Toastmasters, Plymouth Church, and the Colonial Dames. She was also involved with the Road Scholar and the Age-ing to Sage-ing programs. Mary enjoyed reading and was a lifelong learner.
Those left to honor Mary’s memory are her sons, Mark (Andrea) Schultz of Roscoe, Illinois, Paul (Keiko) Schultz of Peachtree City, Georgia, and David (JoRae) Schultz of Mukwonago, Wisconsin; grandchildren, Richard, Elizabeth, Yuhki, Kohta, Miyabi, Quentin, Gavin, and Callan Schultz; and her brother, John (Cindy) Harlan of Des Moines. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jim Herteen; and sister, Jane Harlan.