Mary Joan (Meyer) De Young was born on May 2, 1929, in Pella, Iowa, the second daughter to Peter and Bertha (Branderhorst) Meyer. She attended the Pella Christian Grade School and the Pella Christian High School and later graduated from the Zuni Christian Mission High School in New Mexico, where her father served on the mission field. While in New Mexico she worked as a beautician and as a telephone operator. After moving back to Pella, she was united in marriage with Dale Arthur De Young from rural Peoria, Iowa on April 2, 1954.
Mary and Dale lived on farms in the Peoria area from the time of their marriage until 1989. She acquired heretofore unknown skills such as driving a tractor for baling hay. Her culinary skills made lunch and coffee time at the De Young farm a favorite of hired help.
Two children were born to Mary and Dale during this time: Merrill Bryce, who died at the age of 16 months in 1956; and Merrilee Dawn, now living in Woodward, Iowa. From the time of her marriage, Mary was a faithful member of the Peoria Christian Reformed Church. There she served as a church organist for a time and as a piano accompanist.
In July of 1989 Mary and Dale moved to their residence on East Third Street in Pella. Not long after, Dale passed away on January 1, 1990. Mary continued living at that residence until December 16, 2013. She passed away on December 20, 2013 at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House in Pella at the age of 84 years.
Mary was a highly skilled seamstress, needle worker and embroiderer. She contributed many of her masterpieces to the annual fall fund-raising auctions for the Peoria Christian School. Many of her prized works were given away as gifts and now decorate the homes of relatives and friends. As age diminished her dexterity, Mary became an avid reader. She was a delightful conversationalist who loved to tell about her grandchildren.