Mary Elizabeth Steila Dexter, born March 15th, 1917, in New York City to Loretta Schlider and Leo Kathe, passed away July 30th, 2021, at the Inn at Whitewood Village in North Canton, Ohio at the age of 104. She was preceded in death by her first husband, John Steila with whom she shared 63 years of marriage before his death in 2002. She then married Major Henry V. Dexter Jr. of Albuquerque N.M. who passed away in 2005. She is also preceded in death by her brother Richard Kathe, her niece Lynn Sans and her grandson Mark Rainey. She is survived by her son William Steila (Jane) and daughters Martha Dixon (Jon) and Kathleen Leonard (Mike). She is also survived by her grandchildren Susanne Darby (Freddy), Chris Steila (Kimberly), Carla Ali (Mark), Teresa Wurst (Chris), Eric France (Yvonne), Brian Rainey (Amy) as well as numerous great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, and several nieces and a nephew. Mary was born in New York City and moved to Ohio as a child. She graduated from Lakewood High School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1935. She attended beauty school where she met and married John Steila. They raised their three children in North Canton, Ohio. She worked for Walter Vail’s Nurseries as a landscape designer and secretary for four years in Canton, Ohio. She and John enjoyed gardening and loved their extensive flower gardens. Mary was known for being a great cook with many unforgettable Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. She was a skilled seamstress and made several playtime things and beautiful outfits for her daughters. Mary also was an artist, a skill she used to draw and paint, taking after her father Leo. She taught her daughters many valuable lifetime skills, for which they are very grateful. While in North Canton, Mary was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church, Mothers of Twin’s Club and the Ohio Rose Society which was founded by her father Leo Kathe. Mary and John moved to Belen, New Mexico upon retirement. They loved the Southwest environment and culture. They belonged to several organizations including Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, the Alkalai Anns Garden Club and the German Club. Mary and John traveled throughout the Southwest. After John’s passing, Mary moved to Albuquerque where she met and married Henry V. Dexter in 2004. After Henry’s death a year later, she moved back to Youngstown, Ohio to The Shepherd of the Valley Retirement Villa to be near her daughter Martha. Mary continued to live independently there for 6 years until moving to The Inn at Whitewood Village in North Canton where she lived contently until her death. We would like to thank all the caring staff at the Inn at Whitewood Village and Kindred Hospice for the wonderful care they provided. They affectionately referred to her as “Little Miss Mary.” In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Kindred Hospice 4401 Rockside Rd. Suite 214, Independence, Ohio 44131.
Arrangements for Mary have been entrusted to the Edward J. Fox Funeral Home. Family and friends are invited to call from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Friday, August 6, 2021 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, followed immediately by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM, celebrated by Fr. Ryan Furlong. She will be laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery in Massilon, Ohio.
Family and friends of Mary may visit www.foxfuneralhome.org to view this obituary and send condolences to the Dexter Family.
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