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Mary “Polly” Towns

By Melissa Lambrecht, July 07, 2017

Mary “Polly” Towns, 70 of Ottumwa passed away Thursday, July 6, 2017, at the MHP Hospice Serenity House in Oskaloosa.

Mary Glenn Towns, daughter of John E. and Mary (Barry) Towns, was born August 21, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She was raised in the Chicago area and attended her first two years of college at Sweet Briar College in Virginia.  She completed her education at Mundelein College in Chicago where she received a master degree in Business and Humanities.   Mary postponed her career for seven years to care for her mother.  She was then hired by AETNA Insurance Company as an executive assistant to the vice-president.  She remained with AETNA for 11 years before taking a job with Searle Pharmaceutical, from which she retired in 1996. She then purchased a farm near Brighton, Iowa where she followed her passion for horses, rescuing Morgan Horses.  She also worked as an independent  contractor for several companies near Fairfield, Iowa.  In 2006, Mary moved to Ottumwa, where she was employed by the Women’s Shelter and later, the SICM Agency.  She retired in 2012 after a cancer diagnosis.

Although Mary worked in offices most of her life, he loved animals, particularly horses and dogs and  studied dog training under the world renown dog trainer, Jack Knox.  She also had a great appreciation for art and history and loved to dance and sing.

Mary is survived by her sister, Catherine Burtlow of Ottumwa.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, John.

As was her wish, Mary’s body has been cremated, and services will be held at a later date.  Garland-Van Arkel-Langkamp Funeral Chapel has been entrusted with her arrangements.


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