Mary M. Kennedy, age 67, of Neenah, died January 5, 2013, after a short illness. She was born on September 30, 1945, in Luverne, Minnesota, daughter of the late Leonard and Ellen (Flemming) Kennedy. She married James Dallman on July 6, 1974 at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Garretson, SD. Mary was a graduate of South Dakota State University and earned a Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Mary grew up on a farm near Luverne, Minnesota that was homesteaded by her great grandfather. Her childhood was spent in a small town atmosphere, surrounded by loving and encouraging parents, brothers and nearby aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Even though farming endured some hard times then, she always saw her childhood as warm and idyllic. Throughout her life, one of her greatest joys was a family get together.
After graduating from South Dakota State and UW-Madison, she went to work for the State of Wisconsin, Department of Health Services. After her marriage, she moved to Neenah and served as 51.42 Board Director in Winnebago County. Later, she became Director of Human Services in Calumet County. She served in that capacity for many years, until her retirement in 2005. Mary was a dedicated public servant who put her heart into her work, always eager to learn, always willing to teach, always able to lead. In retirement, she continued to use her knowledge and insight as a consultant.
Mary and Jim spent eight wonderful winters in Florida following their retirement, as well as traveling with relatives. They frequently babysat grandson Jack, the apple of their eye.
Mary is survived by her husband James Dallman, Daughter Ann (Adam) Buchaklian, Grandson Jack Buchaklian, Brothers John (Mary Lou) Kennedy, Paul (Gloria) Kennedy and Richard Kennedy, Sisters-in-law Judith Parker and Joan Comstock. Nieces and nephews: Scott (Beth), their daughters, Alicia and Emma; Kelly (Steve), their children, Tyler and Samantha; Megan (John), their children Maura and Lucas; Cara (Pepe); Sean; James (Sylvia), and their son Donald; Glen; Chris (Lizabet) and their son Kirin. She is further survived by many other relatives and friends. Special regards are given to her cousin Joan, with whom she remained close during her entire life, starting with infancy; and long time friends Sharon, Connie and Michele, with whom she shared so much over their 30-year friendship.
She was preceded in death by her parents; father in-law and mother in-law, William and Kathleen Dallman; brothers-in-law Barry and Robert Dallman.
The Funeral Mass for Mary will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday, January 11, 2013, at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 900 Geiger St., Neenah, with Fr. Larry Seidl officiating. Interment will be in St. Mary Cemetery, Menasha. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, January 10, 2013, at the Kessler Funeral Home, 304 S. Commercial St., Neenah, and from 10:30 a.m. Friday at the church until the time of the Mass.