Mary Florence Rugg, 97, passed away peacefully in the presence of her son and his wife, on July 19, 2019 in Mesa, Arizona. Mary was a special person to many people. She loved her family and her church and was always ready with a smile and warm greeting to those she encountered.
Mary was born to Edward W. Norman and Clara Eisenhower on August 26, 1921 in Cando, North Dakota and was the youngest of brothers Hershel, Harry and Buren and sister Viola. Mary moved to Indianapolis where she attended Arsenal Technical High School, graduating in 1939, and Butler University for two years. She married Gene P. Wood in 1941 and gave birth to their only son, Steven, in 1943.
Mary, Gene and Steve moved to a new home in Indianapolis in 1946, where they helped create the Covenant Presbyterian church in their neighborhood. Mary worked in a local lady’s clothes store, helping customers and wrapping gifts beautifully and precisely. She also served as a Den Mother for Steve’s Cub Scout pack. In 1957, Mary and Gene made a courageous move to California to start a new life with better opportunities for their son. Mary began a career that year as an executive assistant in the Cajon Valley School District, where she worked until she moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1976, following Gene’s death from lung cancer, in 1975. Mary began a career at Arizona State University in the Department of Education but spent most of her professional time as an executive assistant in the Administration Department of the Memorial Union; she retired from ASU in 1986.
When first arriving in Arizona Mary joined the Grace United Methodist Church in Mesa. While there, Reverend Wilkes introduced Mary to Fred Rugg, a widower. Fred and Mary were married in the church on November 18, 1978 and were together until Fred passed away in February of 1992.
Mary was a skilled and enthusiastic Mahjong player and spent many enjoyable hours socializing with friends in her apartment complexes and at the First Presbyterian Church in Mesa where she attended for as long as she was able. Mary is survived by her son, Steven and daughter-in-law Barbara; granddaughter Tishin Donkersley and grandson-in-law Jason Donkersley; great grandchildren Mason and Rochelle Donkersley; sister Shirley Rigor; niece Beverly Fiedler and nephew Larry Clark.
Mary was interred at the Greenwood Mortuary Mausoleum in San Diego, California, next to Gene on August 2, 2019 in the presence of her son and his wife, Barbara.