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Obituary: Mary Etta Anderson Ramseyer

July 10, 1929 – January 8, 2018

The Filer, Idaho area has lost a daughter of an early pioneer family. Mary Etta Anderson Ramseyer passed away on Tuesday, January 8, 2018. She was the daughter of the Frank Anderson Family, the village blacksmith of Filer. She was born on July 10, 1929. She grew up as a genuine city (Filer?) girl, riding her bicycle all over town and even out to the Filer cemetery. But in high school she met a farmer’s son named Duane Ramseyer, who taught her that there was a life outside the big city. Both continued their education at Linfield College. Mary chose to forgo her completion of college to become Duane’s soulmate in marriage in August of 1950. Their first year of marriage went very quickly, but the second year, Uncle Sam drafted Duane into the Army Signal Corps during the Korean War. While stationed as guests of California, daughter Lynn was born 1952.

After two years of service, they returned to the farm north of Filer for sixty-seven years of marriage. Son David followed shortly in 1954, then daughter Phyllis in 1957, and finally son John in 1960.

For a city girl, Mary readily adapted to a farmer’s wife and lifestyle. She set the bar high as she was that kind of lady. Living a strong family life, respect for others and always doing your best described Mary.

Mary was a good cook and an outstanding housekeeper – always with a loud (the louder the better) vacuum. She and her sister Frances worked hard with the girls in 4-H cooking and sewing. She also extended her training to the boys and Phyllis by helping to train the 4-H steers to lead. The story goes that she had to run as fast as the fastest steer because she would not turn loose of the lead rope!

Mary’s family began skiing very early. Mary learned to ski at nine or ten years old at Magic Mountain with her dad, sister Frances, and a school friend, Janice Ramsey Jensen. This early love of skiing led the family to purchase a lot in Ketchum and build the family cabin in 1961. Ski adventures began by teaching the entire family to ski. It was a success because skiing became a life—long sport for parents, kids, and grandkids! Looking back, they had many fun days on the slopes and swimming in Ketchum’s hot pool. Also the family enjoyed camping at Redfish and that very cold water. ( not so many people then!)

This busy lady sang in the Filer Methodist Choir and also in a trio with Alice Reed Desilet and Donna Lee Brown. Mary always enjoyed the meetings of Eastern Star. She was elected Worthy Grand Matron of Eastern Star in 1977 for the State of Idaho. During her year, she visited 72 chapter meetings throughout the state. Husband Duane and son John did some batching during this time.

After Mary and Duane’s children left home, Mary began taking Library Education courses at Idaho State University. She rode a bus up every day for the courses! Her first job was at Lincoln Elementary School. She really enjoyed being a librarian and interacting with the school children. When Oregon Trail School opened, her son-in law, Ted Popplewell, asked her to become their first librarian. It was a really demanding job, but she entered it merely as a new challenge. The new school got off to a great start and everyone enjoyed its success. When she retired, she became a real grandmother-in-residence and enjoyed all the activities of her several grandchildren.

Mary was involved in many organizations. She was a 50 year member in the Order of Eastern Star and PEO. She also belonged to Past Matrons Club, Star Social, Methodist Church, Order of the Nile, Room Mother, Den Mother, 4-H Mother, and Mother Advisor for Filer Order of Rainbow for Girls. She held several offices in these many organizations.

All in all, she really became a farmer’s wife. She enjoyed the outdoors, organizations, and most farm animals. She was beset in her later life with illnesses but was always a positive person who enjoyed her many friendships and her family. She is one of those people who made the area a good place to live!

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Surviving are her husband, Duane of Filer; two daughters, Lynn (Ted) Popplewell of Buhl and Phyllis (Mike) Nichols of Parma; two sons David (Susan) Ramseyer and John (Linda) Ramseyer both of Filer. She has 12 grandchildren – Emily Deetz, Cynthia (Peter) Hatch, Ty (Annie) Popplewell, Joe (Tiffannie) Popplewell, Nick (Chelsea) Popplewell, Dan (Rachel) Ramseyer, Haley (Robbie) Vanderpool, Matt Ramseyer, Marc (Pam) Ramseyer, Brandon Ramseyer, Ryan (Becca) Nichols, and Erika Nichols. She also has four great grandchildren – Victoria Deetz, Isaac and Carter Popplewell and Geneva Popplewell. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Frances and brother Loren. Mary will be greatly missed by her family!

A special thank you to those who have helped us these past few years – Dr. Lisa Burgett, Dr. Richard Hammond, Dr. Michelle Myers, Visions Hospice, River Rock Assisted Living and their excellent staff and Lora Sherman. Your many acts of kindness have meant so much.

In lieu of flowers, you may donate to the Twin Falls Co. 4-H Leader’s Council, P.O. Box 5763, Twin Falls or buy a children’s book and donate it to your local elementary school or city library in Mary’s memory.

Friends may call on Sunday, January 14, 2017 at Parke’s Magic Valley Funeral Home, 2551 Kimberly Rd. in Twin Falls from 4 – 6 P.M. Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 15, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at the Twin Falls United Methodist Church. Burial will take place at Sunset Memorial Park. Those who wish may share memories and condolences on her memorial page at

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