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Mary Belle Deeds, daughter of Lonnie Kester and Susan Kate Pratt Kester, was born on May 16, 1926, in Smallett, Mo., and passed away on June 21, 2005, in Rocky Ridge Manor in Mansfield, at the age of 79 years.
Mary Belle was a lifelong resident of the Ava community. On Dec. 21, 1954, Mary Belle and Carl Von Deeds were united in marriage in Wasola, Mo., and to this union two daughters were born. Mary Belle was a teacher and had taught for the Ava School system for 43 years.
She was a member of the Bethany Baptist Church in Ava and the Douglas County Retired Teachers Assoc. She volunteered on the Meals on Wheels program. Mary Belle loved gardening, quilting, cooking and always helping those in need.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, Lowell Kester; her husband, Carl, in 1991; and her daughter, Carla Branstetter, on April 14, 2005.
Her survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Lonna and Vince Akers, Ava; a son-in-law, Rick Branstetter, Springfield; three grandchildren, Alyssa Akers, Ava, and Matthew and Katelyn Branstetter, Springfield; one sister, Naomi McGill, Tulsa, Okla.; and many relatives and friends.
Services are Thursday, June 23, at 10 a.m., in Clinkingbeard Chapel, Ava, with Pastors Bob Sorensen and Dale Adams officiating. Interment will be in the Ava Cemetery.
Visitation was Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. Memorials can be made to the Gideons or Community Hospice. Services are being conducted by Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava.