Mary Zwerner McAlister passed away on September 19 at the age of 100. She was the first child of the late Max and Floy Zwerner and was a graduate of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, in 1941. On February 14, 1942, she married Wilbur A. McAlister in Columbus, shortly before he entered the army and was sent to World War II for several years. For over 64 years, she lived in Cardington, Ohio. She moved to Ft. Myers, Florida, in 2006 to live out her remaining years at Calusa Harbour, a senior living center.
Mary was a dedicated teacher for 32 years in Columbus, Cardington and Mt. Gilead, Ohio schools. After retiring she was the first female member of the Cardington Lincoln Board of Education. She participated in and led many community activities. Mary was a hospital volunteer for 25 years; a Board member and president of Friends of Hope; a past president of Cardington Seniors; president of Buckeye Twig; a member of Revelle Club and the American Association of University Women; and an honorary member of the Cardington Alumni Association; Cardington Garden Club; Morrow County Fine Arts Guild; Retired Teachers Association and volunteered with the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 97. She was a very active and faithful member of the First United Methodist Church in Cardington where she sang in the choir and was a past president of the church’s Administrative Board. Mary was named Outstanding Senior Citizen of Morrow County in 1993.
After moving to Florida, Mary continued her efforts in volunteer activities at Calusa Harbour where she served as president and treasurer of the Resident’s Association; as a recreation hostess; and led the Story Tellers’ Group. She had a regular column in which she interviewed and profiled Calusa residents. She decorated the display cases in all the public spaces of that facility. She loved to play bridge and travel, having visited a number of countries around the world after retirement.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Wilbur “Mac”, and brother, David Zwerner. Surviving are two daughters: Julie Pecko and husband, Carl, of Fort Myers, and Linda McAlister of New Bern, NC; three grandchildren: Amanda Pecko Cross of Fort Myers, and husband Ian: Liza Fornaciari of St. Louis, MO, and Marc Fornaciari of Charlotte, NC; two great grandchildren: Caroline and Andrew Cross of Fort Myers; a sister, Martha Ephlin and husband, Earl, of Venice, Florida; niece Sara Conville of Columbus, Ohio; nephews: Bob Ephlin of Nashville, Tennessee, Roger Ephlin of Columbus, OH, and Lynn Loyer of Canton, OH.
The family members would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Calusa Harbour Senior Living Center Staff, especially Dr. Reddy, for the love, care and friendship extended to Mary.
Friends may call on Monday, September 28, 2020 from 10:00 AM -12:00 PM. at Gompf Funeral Service, 440 Center Street, Cardington. The funeral service will follow at 12:00 PM at the funeral home and the burial will follow in the Glendale Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either: Cardington United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, 300 S. Marion Street, Cardington, Ohio 43315or Hope Hospice Development Dept 9470 HealthPark Circle, Fort Myers, FL 33908
Those wishing to share a memory of Mary or to express a condolence to the McAlister family may do so by visiting www.gompffh.com.
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