Although Mary Joerg enjoyed several different careers, she derives some of her greatest satisfaction for the volunteer service she gave to others.
A native of Woodson County, Mary came to Manhattan to work. She met her future husband, Ernest, a civil engineer. They dated for several years before marrying in 1938.
During World War II, Mary returned to Yates Center with their two children while Ernest served in Ecuador, England, France, Germany and the Philippines. She says the experience provided her with an empathy for the mothers of those serving overseas today.
Mary worked at Kansas State University prior to her marriage and after her children enrolled in school.
Mary came by her avocation as a volunteer naturally. She helped as a minister of care at the budget shop and food pantry at Seven Dolors Manhattan. She became a librarian at the genealogical library for 20 years. She also joined hospice, where she volunteered for 17 years. She found the hospice patients to be inspirational in the way they lived facing death. She felt it gave her a greater appreciation and understanding for life. Volunteering also helped her appreciate the abilities she had and what she is able to do for herself.
Mary moved to her apartment at Via Christi Village in Manhattan in 2004.