Mary Lea (Gifford) Hampton, 75, of Pleasantville, Iowa passed away at home on May 3, 2023, after a courageous battle with lung cancer. A memorial service for Mary Lea will be held at Fairview Christian Church in Pleasantville, Iowa on June 10, 2023, at 11:00am.
Mary Lea was born June 25, 1947, in Pleasantville, Iowa to Guy and Maxine (Shivvers) Gifford. She loved life on the farm as a young girl as well as attending Franklin Center country school. She went on to graduate from Pleasantville High School in 1965, which was also dear to her heart. After high school, she continued her education in Minneapolis, Minnesota as a medical assistant, all with a plan and a heart to help others.
After her training, Mary Lea held a variety of roles in the medical and business industries. She eventually landed a position with the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA). This was a job she loved doing and she loved the producers she served. Mary Lea worked for IPPA for over 32 years and in that time, both her co-workers and pork producers became more than just associates, but truly family. Upon retirement, when not chasing grandkids, she loved wreath making, crafting, and creating projects which she would enter into the Iowa State Fair. Many homes across Iowa still display her handiwork and passion for creative wreaths.
Mary Lea had two children, Michelle (Shinn) Belzer and Richard Shinn through her first marriage (Dick Shinn) and they were the joy of her life. She later married Mike Hampton in 1983 where they set off on a journey together to travel and watch their children and grandchildren grow. This was their truest form of happiness.
Mary Lea was a member of Fairview Christian Church of which her grandparents were charter members. She loved caring for members of the church and decorating for special events and holidays.
Mary Lea is survived by her husband Mike of Pleasantville, Iowa; brother, Darrell Gifford of Redlands, California; sister, Charlene Clark of Aliso Viejo, California; daughter, Michelle (Bill) Belzer of Grimes, Iowa; son Richard (Mindy) Shinn of Rockwell City, Iowa; her beloved seven grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, extended relatives, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and her older sister, Bonnie.
Mary Lea will be remembered for being creative, funny, ornery, independent, full of laughter, having strong faith, and most of all, her love and compassion for others. All will deeply miss her.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Mary Lea’s name can be made to Fairview Christian Church or the American Cancer Society.