Mary Hackman



Mary Hackman, a lifelong resident of Columbus, Indiana, passed away on February 19th at Silver Oaks Health Campus where she resided for the past five years. She was 91 years old.

Mary was born as Mary Kathleen Zurbrugg on October 18, 1926, to Elmer and Clara Schlehuser Zurbrugg. On August 9, 1950, she married Paul William Hackman. Both parents; her husband; sister, Helen Zurbrugg Pollert; and a granddaughter, Kimberly Ann Hackman preceded her in death.

She leaves behind a host of loving family including six children, Doug (Iva) Hackman of Shelbyville, Steve Hackman of Columbus, John (Barb) Hackman of Columbus, Karen (Greg) McKelfresh of Martinsville, Kathy (Jim) Brock of Columbus and Myron (Jonna) Hackman of Ft. Worth, Texas. She was also blessed with 14 grandchildren, Allison Isley (Amy), Erika Boyd (Nathan), Adam Hackman, Stephanie Vidikan (Michael), Matthew Hackman, Jennifer Whiteside (Ben), Liana Lienhoop (Josh), Christina Hoskins (Larry), Benjamin McKelfresh (Tessa), Molly McKelfresh, the Rev. Peter Brock (Teegen), Katie Arnholt (Clint), Carli Hackman and Will Hackman; and 16 great-grandchildren, Benjamin Isley, Harper Boyd, Allana, Eliza, Lydia and Audrey Whiteside, Ryan and Luke Lienhoop, Marin and Emilia Hoskins, Liam McKelfresh, Hannah and Abigail Brock, and Lilly, Owen and Addy Arnholt. Mary will also be missed by the devoted staff of Silver Oaks, including Tisha and Natalie, who Mary loved dearly. It was this caring staff that would often get a flicker of recognition when they came in to visit her during her last few days and made it their top priority to make Mary as comfortable as possible. The staff’s kindness was also extended to family members who took long shifts staying at Mary’s bedside.

Upon graduating from Columbus High School, she attended Fort Wayne Lutheran Nursing School where she graduated with a degree as a registered nurse in 1948. Once married, she chose to forego her career in nursing so that she could be a devoted mother to her six children and a full-time farmer’s wife. Once Paul passed away in 1968, she relied on her nursing skills to support her young family and worked as a registered nurse at Columbus Hospital. She left the hospital to work as a supervising nurse at Four Seasons, from where she retired. Mary continued to stay active by volunteering her time at numerous places. Regardless of whether she was at work or home, she was forever a caregiver, including the years she spent caring for her husband during his lengthy illness.

While in high school, Mary was president of the National Honor Society, was very active in 4-H, and attended several Walther League National Conventions. Although raising six children alone did not allot her much free time, she would schedule a few minutes to herself upon returning from work so that she could enjoy a cup of coffee while working a crossword puzzle. She was a lifelong member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Clifty where she enjoyed spending time with the Tri-W ladies, was active in Ladies Aid, and held various duties at the church. Gardening was her passion, and she showed her competitive side when she encouraged her children to join 4-H to showcase the Hackman produce. But probably her favorite past-time and the one she missed most when she moved from her farm house was her self-appointed supervising role at Hackman’s Farm Market, where her son, John, and his daughters, would often let her play “temporary” boss. It was at this market that she received an unexpected visit from former First Lady, Laura Bush, who while visiting Columbus, stopped by the market to get a pumpkin for George W.

The funeral service will be at 3 p.m. Friday, February 23, 2018, at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Clifty with Pastor Doug Bauman officiating. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Thursday at Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.

Memorial donations can be made to St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Clifty Growing with Christ’s Love, St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church Preschool or the donor’s choice of charity.

You are invited to view her video tribute, light a virtual candle and send a message to the family via the internet at


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