Vigen Memorial Home obituary – Mary Jo Swallow, 75, Hamilton, Ill.


Mary Jo Swallow, 75 of Hamilton, IL died Sunday, August 12, 2018 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, IA.


She was born May 17, 1943 in Ottumwa, IA the daughter of Earl and Josephine Bordeaux Beeler.  She first married Rennie Kelley.  They later divorced.  On March 24, 1989 she was united in marriage to James Swallow in Memphis, MO.  He survives.

Other survivors include two sons, Scott (Pam) Kelley of Lebanon, MO and Mark (Tammy) Kelley  of Keokuk, one daughter, Denise Kelley of O’Fallon, MO, one step-daughter, Stacie (Kade) Harl of Niota, IL, one step-son,  Steven (Sara) Swallow of Carthage, IL , grandchildren, Jason (Heather) Chastain, Derick Chastain, Tyler (Amy) Chastain, Brett Kelley (Abigail English) , Kristi (Dayton) Spears, Abby and Alexis Ellison, Keaton and Kennedy Harl and Connor and Easton Swallow, nine great-grandchildren, and one sister, Leslie Clark of Memphis, MO.

She was preceded in death by her parents and one sister and brother-in-law, Dixie (Tom) Shalley.

Mary Jo graduated from Scotland County R1 School Memphis, MO.

She had been employed as a real estate broker and agent.  She was a co-owner with John Haas at Century 21 New Life Realty in Keokuk. She worked in real estate for twenty five years until her retirement in 1991.

She was a member of the Iowa States Board of Realtors and the Realty Association.  She was also a member as well as a Past President of the Chamber of Commerce.  Mary Jo was a member of BPW and had been chosen as BPW Woman of Year in 1982.  She served on the American Legion Auxiliary and the Keokuk Yacht Club Auxiliary as treasurer and secretary.

Mary Jo enjoyed traveling to beaches.  She also loved boating, reading suspense novels, cross stitch and was an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan.  She was an excellent cook and loved trying new recipes for her family and friends to enjoy.  Most of all, she loved to spend time with her family and friends, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A Gathering of Remembrance will be held from 4-6 p.m., Thursday at the Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk with family meeting with friends at that time.

A private burial will be held in the Keokuk National Cemetery in Keokuk.

Memorials may be made to the University of Iowa Hospital M.I.C.U. or Palliative Care Unit.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

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