In Memory of




Obituary for Mary Ruth Chegwidden

Mary Ruth Chegwidden, age 84, of Jefferson City, Mo. passed away Thursday, June 16, 2022 at Capital Region Medical Center.

She was born on April 6, 1938 between Hope and Tampa, Ks. to the Reverend Albert Victor and Ruth (Heidemann) Winckler. She was united in marriage on June 7, 1959 in Sylvan Grove, Ks. to Garry Dean Chegwidden, the cute boy who winked at her during study hall. Garry preceded her in death on August 19, 2021.

Mary was a 1956 graduate of Sylvan Grove High School. She then followed in her mother’s footsteps and went to nursing school. She completed her training in 1959 at Stormont Vail in Topeka, Ks. As Garry’s job moved them around the State of Missouri, she sought positions at various Hospitals and long-term care facilities, eventually retiring from Jefferson City Manor. In the future when students of nursing are taught the traits that will make them good nurses and good neighbors, the manuals will not instruct students to be empathetic, communicate effectively, be respectful and shine with patience, warmth and good will, they will say “Be like Mary”.

Mary found strength and comfort in her faith and was a long-time member of Trinity Lutheran Church. She and Garry took it upon themselves to make all newcomers feel welcome. She was active in many groups and organizations assembled by the church and enjoyed attending a weekly Bible study. The Chegwidden family extended a Christ-like love in opening their home to host visiting guests of the church and foreign exchange students over the years.

Mary enjoyed tending to her garden and being surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. She was an excellent cook and was excited to try new recipes. She was passionate about sharing all meals around the family table and all guests were welcome. She loved to travel, Kansas and Colorado being her favorite places to visit. She loved to sew and would make doll clothes for her granddaughters.

Mary will be greatly missed by everyone whose life she touched, which was everyone who had the good fortune to meet her. She was a loving wife and a champion for her husband in all things—including his squirrel conflicts. She supported her children without fail, raising them in her image to be good people, best friends and fine citizens, characteristics often pointed out by friends of the family. She was incredibly grateful for her family. Mary and Garry attended as many of their grandchildren’s events as possible and were devoted to staying involved in their lives. Her kind, caring and honest nature made her someone that people simply loved.

Survivors include: her children, Philip Chegwidden (Tonya) of Ellsworth, Ks., Michael Chegwidden (Donna) of Austin, Tx., Joan Chegwidden (Michael Sizemore) of Kirksville, Mo. and Matthew Chegwidden (Anne) of Columbia, Mo.; Siblings, James Winckler (Jenelle) of Lucas, Ks. and Esther Stinnett of Rhode Island; sisters-in-law, Phyllis, VerLee and Shirley; and six grandchildren, Jenae, Blake, Grace, Stella, Max and Darcy Chegwidden.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 62 years, Garry Chegwidden; her parents; brother, Paul Winckler; and infant daughters, Stephanie and Renee Chegwidden.

Visitation will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church from 2:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 2022.

Funeral services will be conducted immediately following the visitation at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 2022 at Trinity Lutheran Church with the Reverend Samuel Powell officiating.

Graveside services and interment will be conducted at Riverview Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Calvary Lutheran School or Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.