Mary Catherine Jarding

Honored by:Brian Jarding
Brick location:D:29  map

The Plaza of Heroines honors women who were special in our lives. My name is Brian Jarding and I would like to tell you why my mother Mary Catherine Jarding is being honored in the Plaza of Heroines.

Mom was an ordinary housewife and mother although her accomplishments in life were not majestic and grand she did accomplish a great deal. Mom spent much of her life near Cascade, IA., a farmwife after marrying my dad Paul Jarding. I am the second oldest of four children I have an older brother Darin a younger sister Laura and a younger brother Andy.

Mom spent most of her spare time raising two large gardens and a small orchard she had planted. She really loved to grow her own vegetables, flowers and fruits to make pies, jellies and canned goods often giving excess goods she had grown away to friends and family so they would not be wasted. Many people may have thought mom was a pack rat but she merely wanted to save many things just because she did not want to see them wasted.

Every Sunday, mom would take us kids to see her mother Grandma Ritt. Grandma used to say she could set her watch by mom's coming over and she rarely missed a week. Grandma was very important to mom. They had very similar interests. After many years near Cascade dad sold the farm and the family moved into the city of Farley, Iowa. Mom had begun to work for the Ertl toy company a few years before and continued to do so. She didn't like the work there but she really loved the people she worked with. Mom would always tell stories about the people she worked with. They were really good friends to her.

About a year and a half after they had moved mom had found out she had breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and took chemotherapy for six months. The doctors had thought the cancer went into remission but three months later mom's cancer started to grow again. The doctor's had tried several other types of chemotherapy treatment but none seemed to work. After a little over two years of trying to battle the cancer the doctors told mom there was not much else they could do Mom then decided to let the cancer take its course and enjoy the remaining time she had with her family and friends.

The people close to and around her were very supportive of her. Everyone wrote letters and sent cards of encouragement. The family took a last trip together to the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN. We shopped and enjoyed each others company forgetting about mom's illness for the weekend. Mom really started failing about two weeks after our trip. She began to loose weight and her movements were slower but she still put others ahead of herself. Every weekend that I went home to see her she would be making things for others.

After taking sick leave from work she started the task of embroidering dish towels for her Godchildren childhood best friend and my youngest brother Andy. However, time ran out and she never had time to finish the towels for Andy. Mom had become too weak to take care of herself so family and friends stayed with her during the day while Dad and Laura were at work. Cards of support continued to pour in and people brought food to the house everyday to help ease the burden on Laura. After another month mom started to get really weak and we knew the time was near.

Mom died peacefully in her sleep and her suffering was over at last. She was laid to rest in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Farley, Iowa. An eternal flame guards her tombstone. The brick honoring mom was a gift from my in-law's Ed and Chris Lauerman of Waukon, IA. Tony Lauerman of Chicago, IL. and Jenny Ken and Zachary Kolar of Ankeny, IA. My family is truly grateful to them for there thoughtfulness and support.

I had wanted to get a brick for mom as soon as I found out they were doing this project. Mom was very proud that I attended and graduated from Iowa State so I am very thankful that I can honor her in the Plaza of Heroines. Although many people who may read this may not have known my mother I can tell you how wonderful a person she was. She was the best mother, wife, sister, grandmother, godmother and friend. She always believed in her children and I am proud to say I am her son.