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1925 Martha C. McMahon 2023

Martha C. McMahon

August 14, 1925 — March 5, 2023

Mason City

Martha Colflesh McMahon, 97, died peacefully, Sunday, March 5, 2023, at the IOOF care center, in the presence of family and secure in her faith. In accord with Martha’s wishes, her body was donated to the University of Iowa for medical education and research. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 8, 2023, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 213 N Pennsylvania Ave. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church or the Humane Society of North Iowa.

She was born Martha Suzanne Colflesh on August 14, 1925, in Washington, D.C.  Her parents, Martha Waring Colflesh and Robert William Colflesh, made their home in Des Moines, Iowa.  There, she graduated from Roosevelt High School. Martha attended The College of William & Mary in Virginia, and then the University of Iowa.  In Iowa, she met Arthur Emerson McMahon, Jr., who was attending medical school.  Following their graduations, they were married on June 14, 1947, in Des Moines.

Over a seven-year period, they moved six times and began their family, while Art completed his medical training and served on Navy bases. In 1954, Martha and Art found a permanent home in Mason City, where they raised three sons. Her church, Trinity Lutheran, and her faith were fundamental influences that organized her life. For years, she taught Sunday school and The Bethel Bible Series. She played bridge in a number of groups, participated in the Pigskin Pickers club and she golfed. She was active in the local chapter of T.T.T. Society and in the PTA. She volunteered at Park Hospital and Clinic. Martha also gardened, both flowers and vegetables.  Martha pitched into vast cooking projects.  She enjoyed entertaining family and friends, especially during the holidays.

Martha will be remembered for her "favorite casserole," which lives on in many recipe folders. Initially, she winged it from memories of her childhood kitchen.  After decades of tweaking, she finally wrote it up in order to fulfill requests. While growing up, Martha had plucked and cleaned what her father hunted for the table. As an adult, she turned that around and fed whatever came to her arrays of feeders.  Martha welcomed almost any and all wildlife, except for snakes.

If ever she would have cursed, it would have been in the presence of a snake, such as the garter snake that was curled up in the cup on the 17th green as she reached for her golf ball. A son can attest that no expletives passed her lips. She retreated in good order to the clubhouse without abandoning equipment and in record time. Despite her bone-deep dread of snakes, Martha loved the family cabin in at Half Moon Lake, Wisconsin, where she worried over stray dogs each summer.  One of them, Tia, finally made the trip back to Mason City and benefited from Martha's maternal drive after the sons had moved away.
For many years, Martha was the Loon Ranger at Half Moon.  She reported on loon activities and chicks and educated boaters to keep their distance when observing or boating by.  Martha also authored a collection of Half Moon Lake memories of residents and their ancestors, leaving a historic legacy for future generations. She loved fishing and enjoyed going out on the lake with Art and her sons in search of bass and the elusive walleye.

Martha is survived by her sons: Mike (Pat Marvick), Steve (Frances Hoffman), and Bob (George Roscoe) and by two grandchildren: Scott McMahon (Chris McCallin) and Kate (Brice) Campbell, and by four great grandsons: Cameron, Braden, Owen, and Quinn Campbell.
She was preceded in death by her parents, by her stepmother Chloris Waterbury Colflesh, by her sister, Frances Hamilton, by her husband, Art, and by her beloved dog, Tia.
The family is appreciative of the care Martha received at MercyOne North Iowa, Homestead of Mason City, The IOOF Home & Community Therapy Center, and Heritage Care and Rehabilitation Center.


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Saturday, July 8, 2023

Starts at 10:30am (Central time)

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