Cover photo for Mary Olive's Obituary
Mary Olive Profile Photo
1928 Mary 2020

Mary Olive

March 15, 1928 — August 7, 2020

Mary Olive, 92, of Corning, Iowa, entered eternal rest Friday, August 7, 2020, at her home in rural Corning, Iowa.  Mass of Christian Burial Services will be 1:00 P.M., Friday, August 14, 2020, at the Corning St. Patrick Church with Fr. Litto Thomas Celebrant and Fr. Mike Peters ConCelebrant.  Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Corning.  Open visitation will be 12:00 – 4:00 P.M., with family receiving friends 4:00 – 5:00 P.M., Thursday, August 13, 2020, at Pearson Family Funeral Service, 701 7th Street, Corning, Iowa.  A Wake Service will be held at 5:00 P.M.  Memorials may be directed to the Calvary Cemetery; Corning Alumni Newsletter, and/or EveryStep Hospice Foundation ( with a note in comment section for Mt. Ayr team). Memories may be shared at
Mary Maxine (Miller) Olive was born to Charley C. Miller and Mary Irene (Curry) Miller on March 15, 1928, at home in Adams County, IA.  Mary grew up on a farm in Quincy Township, Adams County. She enjoyed spending time with her brothers, Bill and Dick, and her sister, Eleanor. She loved riding horses in the timber with the Davis girls down the road. Mary attended country school at the Quincy Schoolhouse through the eighth grade, and Corning High School, graduating with the class of 1945. During WWII, when gasoline was rationed and it became difficult for country students to get to school, Mary rented rooms in town at the Lambolye and Waters’ houses during her high school years.  She made many lifelong friends during that time. During high school, Mary worked at McClelland’s Drug Store, and after graduating, became a telephone operator at the local telephone company.
Mary married Orlo Francis Olive on April 8, 1947, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Corning. Orlo and Mary celebrated 57 years of marriage, and raised seven children while living on the Olive Family Farm. Mary and Orlo’s farm was recognized as a Century Farm of Iowa in 1982. Mary loved the farm, was very active in its daily operations, and saw it as a place of peace for herself and her family.
Much of Mary’s life was devoted to caring for her daughter, Miriam, who passed at the age of 63.   Mary’s love of animals and nature was always apparent in her raising of the baby calves, Miriam’s four foals, her dog, and the many cats and birds around the farm.  In her later years, she was often found sitting in her “command center” at the kitchen table where she could observe the happenings on the farm.
Mary was an accomplished seamstress; she was a 4-H leader for many years, and taught all her daughters to sew. She was known by many for the denim patches on their jeans and overalls.  Mary was on the Class of 1945 Golden Jubilee committee that published the Class of 1945 Book of Memories, which became their yearbook for their school years of 1941-1945.  She also enjoyed helping with the Corning Alumni Newsletter until her death.
Mary is survived by her daughters: Madeline Urwin of Tempe, AZ; Marsha Sortino of Omaha, NE; Mary Lynn (Rich) Saniuk of Austin, TX; her sons: Martin and Matthew, both of Corning, IA; eleven grandchildren and their spouses, ten great-grandchildren, sister-in-law Phyllis Miller, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and  nephews,  numerous extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Orlo, son Mark, daughter Miriam, granddaughter Nicole Sortino, son-in-law Bob Urwin, brothers Bill & Dick, sisters Geraldine (infant) and Eleanor (Stanley) Peterson.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, August 13, 2020

12:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

Pearson Family Funeral Service & Cremation Center - Corning

701 7th Street, Corning, IA 50841

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, August 14, 2020

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

St. Patrick Catholic Church

, Corning, IA 50841

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, August 14, 2020

Corning Calvary Cemetery

Juniper Avenue, Corning, IA 50841

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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