Mary E. Wiatt

February 25, 1925April 1, 2013

Mary E. Wiatt, 88, of Bloomington, died on Monday, April 1, 2013, at Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital. She was born February 25, 1925, in Sioux City, Iowa, the elder daughter of Alva Lacey and Dorothy Ruth (Fenlason) Mudge.

Mary graduated from East High School in Sioux City in 1942-- editor of the school newspaper, member of the National Honor Society, and forward on the girls’ basketball team. From East High she went to the University of Iowa, where she began as an English major, was drawn to Paul Engle’s famous Writers’ Workshop, and changed her major to psychology, eager to learn how the creatures she was writing about work. She graduated with a BA in Psychology, with honors including Phi Beta Kappa, in 1945, and an MFA in 1950.

Avid for experience of the world, Mary spent the summers of her college years at a variety of jobs. One summer she drove a truck delivering Norden bombsights to bombers at the Sioux City Army Air Force Base. Another war-time job took her to Washington, D.C., where she worked for the Office of Price Administration. She also worked for the United States Employment Office and at a resort hotel in Gloucester, MA. In 1950, she came to the University of Missouri to teach English composition. There she met her husband-to be, a graduate student and fellow teacher of freshman composition.

After Mary and Bill met and married, they lived in North Carolina and Ohio before coming to Indiana, where Bill was employed at Indiana University. Mary poured her time and considerable talents into being a homemaker until her children were grown. Friends will remember Mary as an ardent traveler. She and Bill went abroad every year, in some years twice, from 1974 to 2009, when walking became difficult for her. As much as she enjoyed exploring new places, she never became a mere collector of countries. She especially enjoyed going back to favorite places, like Dresden, Ravenna, and Dunedin.

Mary is survived by her husband of sixty-two years, William H. (Bill) Wiatt; their four children: Anne Lacey (Richardson), of Lenexa, KS; Mary Lee (Tallant), of Carmel, IN; Thomas Wiatt, of Austin, TX, and Robert Wiatt, of Tampa, FL; and her sister, Ann (Mudge) Lindberg, of Montgomery, TX. Four grandchildren survive; Ashley Richardson, Ian Richardson, Carolyn Tallant, and Allison Richardson.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents and one granddaughter, Andrea Tallant.

A memorial service to celebrate Mary’s life will be held April 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 6th and Lincoln Streets, Bloomington. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital, or Monroe County United Ministries.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mary E. Wiatt

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Regina Davis

April 10, 2013


You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I know what you are going through. I pray that God gives you peace as he has gave me.

Antonia Matthew

April 10, 2013

I only met Mary a couple of times, but enjoyed talking with her. Now I know why she was interested in the writing group -- she was part of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and what an experience that would have been. She certainly lived a full and interesting life. I send you my thoughts and sympathy, Bill.

Mark Renza

April 5, 2013

I will miss her Smile ,her home made Food & cookies when I went to Bloomington for the Indy 500 with Tom.God rest her soul.