Obituaries offer small glimpses of personal history about many people that I’ll obviously never get to meet – but often wish I’d known. For example, Mary Farnsworth, of Iowa City, died on December 1, 2010, after living a full and rich life for 91 years. The eldest of nine children, she graduated from business college in 1938, and married and raised two sons of her own. She also had an extraordinary and long career in the legal field:

Mary enjoyed a 50 year career as a legal secretary, working for a number of attorneys before joining the war effort where she worked on classified government materials in Washington DC and later in Detroit. She finished her legal career with the McMurray law firm in Iowa City. She was a long time member of the First Baptist Church and held a variety of offices with the church, and the Iowa City chapter of the Association of Christian Women. Mary was an avid reader, and a talented craftsperson; taking great pride in her sewing, knitting, and quilting projects. She was also known for her large collection of hats, an accessory that she was seldom seen without.

Now you seldom see women wearing hats, which seems a shame, as they can be elegant and original fashion accessories. It seems fitting to close this post with a quote by Frank Sinatra, “Cock your hat – angles are attitudes.”


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