Mary Ellen McCarl was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Mary Eva (Whittington) and Carl Curtis Malone. She grew up in Iowa, mostly in Story City. She graduated as valedictorian of her class in 1946. She maintained ties to the community throughout her life, coming back regularly for class reunions. After high school graduation she attended Iowa State University, where she met a smart, funny musician/engineering student named Harry Berwyn McCarl, whom she married. Their life together took them to Cleveland, Ohio, Kansas City, and Omaha. Along the way they had four children, who also visited the Ames/ Story City area regularly since her father was a professor at Iowa State University. When Mary Ellen was growing up, her father had employed a housekeeper, Lila Lee, who used to bake kringla in her upstairs apartment; these continue to be family favorites. In Omaha Mary Ellen went back to college, completed an associate degree and worked as a secretary in Nebraska Methodist Nursing School. After returning to Kansas City in 1976 she completed her CTC as a travel agent and embraced that new career with enthusiasm. She worked in several travel agencies in the Kansas City area. She and Harry enjoyed traveling and were able to travel widely in Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Central America. Mary Ellen had always loved being a mother and expanded the family circle with six AFS students. She and Harry enjoyed parenting them during their year in Overland Park and included visits to them and their families in their many travels. She always tried to bring out the best in her children. She loved planning and was a fountain of knowledge. She told her children that as a child she had read every book in the Story City Library. In her later years she became a fan of Jeopardy, delighting in summoning obscure answers. She passed away peacefully at home in her own bed, as she wished. She will be remembered for her warmth, generosity, and bright, intelligent spirit
She is survived by her brother Curt Malone who lives in Ames, four children- Deborah Louise McCarl (Marilyn Skurdahl), Harry Scott (Carolyn) McCarl, Jeffrey Lynn McCarl, Andrew Charles McCarl (Leesa Whitson), grandchildren Mary, Ben, Paul, Aaron, Marcas, Marshall, Cory, Nicholas, Erin, Jonathan, and Paula, and 7 great grandchildren, her sister in law Nancie Malone, and her AFS children Craig (Yuriko) McLachlin, Melania Portilla, Alexandra Puga, Wiebka Matthies, Melanie Boyer, and Jearn Jang Sae-Pang (Zeph).
Preceding her in death were her husband, Harry Berwyn McCarl, parents Carl and Mary Eva Malone, stepmother Lucille Malone, sister Cathryn Malone Johnson, brother Robert C. Malone, and grandsons Andrew and Matthew.
Memorial contributions to AFS, Bertha Bartlett Public Library (Story City, IA), Humane Society, your local food bank or PBS station would be appreciated.