Mary Ellen Cadmus, 81, of Springfield, formerly of Moberly, passed away Thursday, December 16, 2021, after a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s disease. We are comforted knowing she can, once again, recall her countless friends and adventures.
Mary Ellen Cadmus answered to many names. To her boys, and to countless neighborhood kids who weren’t hers but showed up for meals and snacks and hugs and occasional straight talk, she was "Mom." To her extended family — which numbered higher, still, and showed up for all the same reasons and more — she was "Aunt Mary Ellen.” No matter what you called her, you got her genuine self, because Mary never met a stranger.
Her story started in Sioux City, Iowa, December 19, 1939, born to Ward and Daisy (Ruff) Peterson, she was the tenth of eleven children. She grew up on the family farm, which was uprooted from Iowa and replanted in central Missouri.
On graduation from Madison High School, she moved in with her sister, Lorna, in St. Louis, Missouri, and started work as a keypunch operator at Brown Shoe Company. There she met Raymond Matthew Cadmus, a promising young developer who — despite their inauspicious first date — would become her husband and partner for more than 62 years.
Together Mary and Ray traveled to Los Angeles, California, where sons Ken and Don were born, and to Seattle, Washington where they had their youngest, Doug. For some years Mary and Ray were seemingly an itinerant technology team of operator and programmer; alighting next in Chicago, and then Kansas City, and then back to Madison and Moberly, where they grew some deeper roots for a while.
For some years Mary led the Accounting department at Orscheln Farm & Home before growing her ceramics hobby into a business that busted out of the basement, and into a shop in downtown Moberly that bore her name. Mary introduced countless crafters to ceramics. Chances are near 100% that the ceramic Christmas tree in your home is a product of Mary’s shop.
Mary became a familiar face at the Accounting window at MACC, where she administered grants and fees, and offered counseling and pep talks to students who were trying to make ends meet. At the same time, Mary and Ray were active and enthusiastic hosts of St. Pius's “Dinner for Eight” ministry. When Ray’s work led them once again to Kansas City, Mary became the parish administrator at St. Andrews in Gladstone, earning a new moniker — Monsignor Mary. It was an informal honorific, but one she was quite fond of.
Mary and Ray retired to Springfield. They traveled extensively in their motorhome and — Mary being Mary — made fast friends in their travels and at home.
Words of comfort and support were shared with the family during a visitation that was held at the Cater Funeral Home. A mass of Christian burial honoring and celebrating Mary Ellen’s life was in the St. Pius X Catholic Church. Committal prayer and burial followed at the St. Mary’s Cemetery.