Mary Ellen Lakeman






For 90 years, we had the privilege of calling Mary Ellen Lakeman, our friend, our mom, our grandma & just Great. On July 31st, it was time for her to head home to the Lord. We will forever hear Mary Ellen’s singing & remember her laughter & big smile.


Visitation will be held from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 5, 2022 at Kramer Funeral Home in Dyersville.  A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Basilica with burial in the church cemetery immediately after mass.  Rev. Philip Agyei will officiate. 


Born to George & Elizabeth (Luensmann) Reicher in Dyersville on a snowy January 20th day, Mary Ellen seemed to be naturally happy. Older siblings Esther, Steve, Ray, Grace & Jane taught Mary Ellen about enjoying life’s simplest pleasures. The virtues of love of God, love of family & kindness to people formed her into a person you want to emulate & just be around.


When a Dubuque boy Don Lakeman spotted Mary Ellen, the angels must have been matchmaking. Don & Mary Ellen were married July 11, 1953. For 57 years Don & Mary Ellen’s house was filled with laughter, respect, kindness, education, sports & lots of food. The door was always open for a few more kids to come over. She spent hours upon hours baking rolls & chocolate chip cookies & would give them to everyone. Just pull up a chair, grab a plate but only after you pray.


Mary Ellen’s number one hobby was the grandkids/great grandkids. She taught them to play cards, fish, hit a golf ball, ice skate & laugh at themselves. Always saying “oh, that’s not so bad”. We will never forget her words “if you get mad, just count to ten then sing!” Try it, it works.

When grandson Billy Notz was killed by a drunk driver, her faith carried the family through. A hole was forever burnt into her heart, but she just kept filling it with more love & more family memories and often said she had another angel in heaven.


The Dyersville community was recipients of her kindness. She was instrumental in the formation of the church circles to benefit St Francis Xavier Basilica & Xavier Elementary school programs, founding member of the Hospital Auxiliary, long time member of the Resurrection Funeral Choir, perpetual supporter and fundraiser for Beckman High School, Little League/Baseball mom & tailgate-provider & first person to raise her hand when a volunteer was needed. We have a big legacy to live up to.


Her 7 children left to honor her life: Linda (Mike Lannan), Peggy (Dick Happ), Mike (Sherry) Lakeman, Jan (Neal Geerdes), Lori (Mark Geistkemper), Myra Weber, Dave (Jane) Lakeman.

Grand & Great Grandkids: Katie (Rob), Sam & Sabina Knowles, Lisa (Peter) Manesis, Maria (Jason) Howsare, Addison Keck & Katelyn & Jacob Howsare, Sarah (Rob) Morris, Christian, Adam, Elijah, Dayton & Taylor, -Olivia & Abigail Austin, Donnie (Kanetra), Avery, Michael, Noah Lakeman, Ryan Mereih, Jacqui Geerdes,

Liz (Adam), Beckett, Brynn, Brooklyn, Blake Benyo, Tony (Anne), Lucy, Max Geistkemper, Tricia (Tyler), Hayden, Tanner Dreiling, Ashley (Travis), Brady, Jordan Sims, Amanda Waddell, Greg (Montell) Gahard, Grant (Avery) Gahard & bonus grandkids Jenny, Will, Lauren, Rachel, Christina, Tom, Caitlyn, Ethan, Adam, Andrea, Brent, Colton, Delaynie.  Other family relatives: in-laws: Dick Lakeman, Therese Reicher & the many nieces & nephews whom she loved dearly.


Special people passing before Mary Ellen, her loving husband Donald J Lakeman, Grandson Billy Notz, parents George & Elizabeth (Luesnmann) Reicher, parents-in-laws, Charles & Sabina (Kutsch) Lakeman, in-law: Mary Fran Lakeman. Sisters & Brothers- Esther (Joe) Tauke, Steve (LuAnn) Reicher, Ray Reicher, Grace (Frank) Fincel, Jane (Keith) Loebsack.


Memorials are preferred to St. Francis Xavier Basilica or Beckman Catholic High School


Kramer Funeral Home in Dyersville is assisting the family and information is available at  Online condolences and memorials may be sent to Kramer Funeral Home,  750 12th Ave SW, Dyersville, IA  52040.