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Mary Ellen Fanning - April 22, 2012

Mary Ellen Fanning was born to Edmund and Ruby Mary (McGrath) Smith on Nov. 15, 1920, in Wauneta, Neb. Mary’s father passed away when she was six months old; this made her grandfather a large part of her early life. Mary joked that she was used to getting anything she wanted because her grandfather spoiled her so much.
Mary graduated from Wauneta High School in May of 1938 and was united in marriage to Fay Fanning on Sept. 5, 1938. For a few months, the couple settled on the McGrath farm, eight miles north of Wauneta. In the early 1940s they purchased the Hixon Farm, located nine miles north of Wauneta.
Mary was a proud farmer and rancher’s wife and took on the responsibilities that they entailed. She was very active and supportive of the family business and in raising the couple’s children.
Mary moved to Sterling, Colo., in 2007. This put her closer to her daughter. She traveled to many different states with Larry and Peggy during this time. She enjoyed her Colorado neighbors and they took very good care of her. She always enjoyed having people stop to visit her.
Mary could always recall the old history of the Wauneta area; remembering where people lived, maiden and married names and all the relatives.
Mary loved to play cards, watch soap operas, and later in life the television shows. Dancing With the Stars was one of her favorites.
Mary passed away Sunday morning, April 22, 2012, in Sterling, Colo. She was 91 years old.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Fay; sisters: Wilma Walker, Erma Wallace and Shirley Petsch; twin brother Marvin Smith; and son Clarence (Pete) Fanning.
Survivors include: daughter Peggy and husband Larry Rewerts of Sterling, Colo.; grandchildren: Cindy Rewerts and husband Tim Tippin, Lori and husband Stan Schwab, Karla Rewerts and husband Clint Bishop; great grandchildren: Allie and Will Tippin and Kristina, Aaron and Kate Schwab; and step great grandchildren: Ben Tippin and Braxton Bishop.
Funeral services for Mary will be held Friday morning, April 27, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church of Wauneta, with Pastor Fred Andersen officiating.
Interment will follow at the Riverside Cemetery, Wauneta.
Visitation will be held Thursday afternoon, April 26, 2012, from 2-6 p.m. at the funeral home in Wauneta.
A memorial has been established in Mary’s memory.
Online condolences can be left at
Liewer Funeral Home of Wauneta is in charge of arrangements.