School 09

Mary Lee Crowe

June 13, 1948 ~ December 31, 2021 (age 73)


Mary Lee Crowe, 73, of Burlington, left her earthly journey to begin her heavenly adventures on Friday, December 31, 2021, at the St. Luke's Hospital Hospice in Cedar Rapids after a long but courageous battle with Lewy Body Dementia.  Mary Lee Nielsen was born June 13, 1948 in St. Joseph, MO.  

Mary Lee graduated in 1966 from Maryville High School where she was on the pep squad for her beloved Spoofhounds.  After graduating high-school she quickly realized that her passion in life was teaching. She obtained her Bachelor's in Education from Northwest Missouri State University in 1969 and then received her Master's of Education from Phillips University in 1986. She worked for the Burlington Community School District in the elementary schools.  She felt honored and loved when her students would keep in touch long after leaving her class.  Her children and husband recall that her eyes would light up when her students reached out to her and told her how she impacted their lives.  

Mary Lee was known for her infectious smile and contagious laugh. Family trips were an adventure.  Mary Lee referred to herself as directionally challenged and would frequently get lost.  However, they would end up laughing and jamming out to sixties music and have the best time. Mary Lee always looked for the bright side in life and kept a smile on her face. 

Mary Lee's oldest two grandchildren, Shawn and Kayleigh, called her Nana.  When her youngest granddaughter started talking she changed her nickname from Nana to Nia.  Mary Lee was tickled pink by this and from then on her grandchildren, husband and her children also referred to her as Nia.

She was of Christian faith. She was a wonderful and supportive wife to Mike; a phenomenal, encouraging, and loving mother to her daughters, Erica and Ashlee; a doting and supportive "Nia" to her grandchildren Shawn, Kayleigh and Maren; and a kindred spirit to her sister Janet.

Mary Lee did not want a funeral, so in compromise the family invites everyone to come share memories and celebrate Mary Lee's life on Thursday, January 6, 2022, from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM at Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for the Lewy Body Dementia Association or St. Luke's Foundation for UnityPoint Hospice.

To send flowers to Mary's family, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
January 6, 2022

10:30 AM
Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home
3940 Division
Burlington, IA 52601

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