BELOIT - Mary Helen (Clapper) McNatt, 70, of Beloit passed away on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, at Essex I in Salem.
Mary was born in Paris, Ohio, on May 16, 1942, the daughter of the late Earle and Maude (Newcomer) Clapper.
She was a 1960 graduate of Minerva High School and also graduated from the Hannah E. Mullins School of Practical Nursing in 1962. She earned her associate's degree in nursing from Youngstown State University in 1981.
She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Charles W. McNatt; daughters Terri McNatt, Gerri (Larry) McGonagle of Beloit; grandchildren Nathan (Jennifer) McNatt of McDonald, Casey (David) Grace, of Alliance, Zachary Cook and Rachel McGonagle of Beloit; four great-grandchildren; sister Verna Clapper and sister-in-law Janet Clapper, both of Louisville; and three nieces.
Besides her parents she was preceded in death by her brother, Robert Clapper, and grandson Dalton Cook-McNatt.
Mary Helen was a giver. She started her community service shortly after she moved to Beloit. Her submission, "The Beloit Story," was selected to name the book her mother-in-law wrote for the centennial in 1963.
In 1982 she continued her service to the citizens of Beloit by joining the Beloit Rescue Squad as a volunteer EMT. She was co-captain of the Rescue Squad for many years. Her service to the citizens of Beloit continued when she was elected councilwoman in 2006. She took the lead in grant writing and garnered funds for improvements in the drainage on West Fifth Street. Ultimately she served her community when she was elected mayor in 2008.
She also served her profession when she started at Alliance Community Hospital on Oct. 13, 1983, as a member of the Mental Health Support Team. Not only did she take care of her patients, she took care of her fellow RN's at Alliance Community Hospital when she became president of the Alliance Local Unit of the Ohio Nurses Association in 1987. With her leadership numerous contracts were successfully negotiated. She fostered a collegial relationship with the administration of the hospital. Her peers from the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) recognized her leadership skills by giving her many awards, including the prestigious Dorothy Cornelius Leadership Award. She was treasurer of the local unit for a couple of years and became president in 1988. With her leadership there were five successful contracts negotiated. The latter three contracts were ratified well before they expired and without a 10 day strike notice. She was respected by her peers as well as ACH management. She fostered a collegial relationship with management by sharing her belief that ONA and ACH were all there for one thing, quality patient care. The Ohio Nurses Foundation awarded ACH "the nurses choice" award twice because of the relationship between the local unit and ONA. Her philosophy was to get as many nurses involved as possible. She invited them to Stark-Carroll District Nurses Association meetings and took many vans full of nurses to ONA Headquarters. There are many nurses that say "I am a nurse because of Mary" as her health began to fail and she made one of the hardest decisions of her life and resigned her position as president of the Alliance Local Unit of the Ohio Nurses Association. She retired from ACH 2006.
A Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012, at the Beloit Friends Church at 11 a.m. with Pastor Mark Reich officiating.
Friends may call at Gednetz-Ruzek Funeral Home in Sebring on Monday, from 5 to 8 p.m. and the hour prior to the service on Tuesday at the church. Burial will take place at Grandview Cemetery in Sebring.
Friends may send condolences and sign the guest register online at www.grfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by Gednetz-Ruzek Funeral Home, Sebring, 330-938-2526.