Roe Kirkland


Mary Roeine Hemm Kirkland, 103, formerly of Ottumwa, died February 7, 2024 in Cedar Rapids after a short illness.

Roe was born on October 11, 1920, in Eldon to Ansel and Bessie Walker Hemm. She was preceded in death by her siblings, Robert and Jack Hemm, Ouida Noel and Patricia Shaffer.

She is survived by a daughter, Sue Rogers (Stuart), Hiawatha, IA; two grandsons, Kirk Watson (Julia), Cedar Rapids; Jeffrey Watson (Margaret), Shertz, TX; five great-grandchildren, Abby Wiechmann (Andrew), Kaylee Bean (Benjamin), Brooke Siniff (Cody), Victoria Watson and Austin Watson; one great-great granddaughter, Josie Wiechmann; and several nieces and nephews. Also, surviving are two step-granddaughters, Kimbra Roberts and Leigh Honnell of Arkansas, and their families.

Roe graduated from Eldon High School in 1938 and from Iowa Success Business School in Ottumwa where she met Donald Kirkland. They married on July 12, 1941. Don passed away in 2006.

Roe has lived in Eldon, Ottumwa, Fairfield, and Cedar Rapids, IA, Arkansas City, KS, San Antonio, TX, and recently, Hot Springs and Malvern, AR. She was a member of Eldon Christian Church. She worked as a secretary at John Morrell Co., Ottumwa First Christian Church and Watson Clinic in Fairfield.

Her hobbies included sewing, dancing, reading, listening to music, watching sports, and writing family history.

She will be remembered for her steadfast faith, love for family gatherings, great sense of humor, beautiful handwriting, gentle kindness to everyone, and her capacity to forgive.

Memorials may be sent to a charity of your choice, Eldon Christian Church, 514 W. Walnut St., Eldon, IA 52554, or Animal Rescue League of Iowa, 5452 NE 22nd Street, Des Moines, IA 50313-2528 marked for TheraPets program in support of the therapy dogs Roe enjoyed.

A visitation will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8th at Reece Funeral Home with a time to celebrate her life at 3 p.m. Inurnment will follow in Shaul Cemetery.

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