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Ida Mardell “Mardi” Kurtz

Mardell Kurtz

Ida Mardell “Mardi” Kurtz, 86, of Cushing, passed away on Sunday, Jan-uary 15, 2017 at the Good Samaritan Society of Holstein.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the St. John Lutheran Church of Cushing with the Rev. Wayne C. Pfannkuch officiating.   Burial was at the Cushing Cemetery of Cushing.   Online condolences can be made at

Born to Ole and Josie Birkley on July 17, 1930 in Maskell, Nebraska.  Mardell was the only girl with six brothers.  She attended country school with her brothers and graduated in 1948 from Ponca High School in Ponca, Nebraska.

Mardell attended Wayne State Teachers College, then taught for 2 years in a one-room school house near Jackson, Nebraska.

On September 24, 1950 Mardell united in marriage to Merle Kurtz. They lived on their family farm in Cushing, Iowa, where they raised 5 children. They also have 15 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Mardell’s commitment to her faith and her family was unwavering.  Caring for all of them, she was always cooking, preparing family meals and baking special things for each of them brought her great joy.

Mardell also loved to yodel, play the accordion, sing and dance a bit in her kitchen.

Mardell was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cushing, where she was active in Circle and choir and taught Sunday School for many years.

As her children became more independent, Mardell also found her calling as a nurse’s aide at the Correctionville Nursing Home.

Merle and Mardell moved from the family farm to Char-Mac Assisted Living in Holstein in August of 2013 and to Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Holstein in May of 2016.

Mardell is survived by her husband of 67 years, Merle; a son, Gary (Cheri) of Correctionville, Brant (Alison), Colton and Daxton; Justin (Larissa), Ryver, Reif and Ireland; Cody (Trish), Piper, Ciara and Taryn; a daughter, Nancy (Donavon) Noe of Holstein, Blake (Melissa), Cove; Bart (Jacque), Mila, Mara and Remington; a son, Bob (Nancy) Kurtz of Correctionville, Alicia (Nathan) Drury, Nash; Tressa (Mark) Kurtz, Rogan; Ashton (Steve) Huffman, Jacob and Grant; Sami McCrea, Tyrel McCrea; a daughter, Jane (Wes) Kurtz-Teal of Sioux Falls, SD, Kristina (Krissy) Bridges, Lacey Bridges, Lindsay (Josh) Teal-Ambrose, Magdalen; a daughter, Sherry (Paul) Kurtz-Anderson of Canton, SD, Matthew and Nathan; a brother Mike (Phyllis) Birkley of Hubbard, NE; sisters-in-law Edna Birkley of Ponca and Della Wolf of Cherokee, plus several nieces and nephews.

Mardell is preceded in death by her parents, Ole and Josie Birkley; her brothers and sisters-in-law, Lynn Birkley, Dale (Evelyn) Birkley, Ray (Joyce) Birkley, Joe (Janet) Birkley and Wally (Joy) Birkley.

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