Amy Mulford

Obituary of Amy Anna Mulford

Amy Anna Mattson Mulford passed away peacefully on January 18th, 2021. She was 5 days shy of her 95th birthday. She died at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa from congestive heart failure. Amy was born on January 23, 1926 in the same house that her mother was born in. The house still stands in Buena Vista County, Iowa. As the story goes, it was a bitter cold winter night and the country doctor traveled 10 miles by horse and buggy from Alta, IA to deliver her. She was born to William C Mattson and Stella Louisa Edina Mattson. She had three siblings, Wilbert, Leland and Grace all of whom have passed. She loved to tell stories about growing up with her brothers and sister and every story included lots of laughing. Amy had a great sense of humor and was a true believer that laughter is the best medicine. Amy grew up on the Mattson family Centennial farm in NW Iowa. The farm is still in the Mattson family and Amy was very proud of her Danish roots. She attended a one-room country school for elementary school. Her father had to drive her to school as it was too far to walk. He drove an old Maxwell without a roof or sides. Her memory was of the car flying from ditch to ditch, as they sped along barely holding on to their lunch boxes. Amy attended Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa where she got a Music degree in piano. She was a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, a music sorority as well as Alpha Sigma sorority. She spent her life involved in music and kept her perspectives broad, attending concerts ranging from Horowitz to The Supremes to Bill Evans. One of her biggest regrets was that she passed up going to an Ella Fitzgerald concert in NYC because the tickets were $5 to get into the club and she just didn’t have it. Her first job was as a music teacher in Marengo, IA. She took the Greyhound bus every day from their home in a Quonset hut on UI Campus to teach in Marengo. She and Hal then moved to Maryville, MO for Hal’s first teaching job, and Amy worked as a choral director in the public school system. They returned to Iowa City three years later and then, after having her children, she taught private piano lessons in her home until she retired at 75. She was a very dedicated and well-respected piano teacher. Amy was a very active member with the Iowa Music Teachers Association for many years and won the distinguished service award in 1993. She was more than a piano teacher to her students. She developed wonderful bonds with them that carried on to the day she died. She liked to think that her influence led some of them to professional careers in music. She was also very active in University Club, Music Study club, bridge groups and politics. Life-long friendships grew from her many involvements and from being a caring person who was always there to offer counsel and help both in times of celebration and times of need. Many, both young and old, sought her advice and companionship. She had a great sense of humor that she maintained even in the final hours of life. She was married to the love of her life and her “rock”, Harold A Mulford Jr, on January 24, 1948. She is survived by their three children: Grant Mulford (Patty) of Granada Hills, CA, Deborah Mulford of Iowa City, IA and Teresa Buchanan (Alec) of Guilford, CT. She is also survived by her seven grandchildren: Natalie Mulford, Danny Mulford, Sara Mulford, Justin Sidwell, Calum Buchanan, Anna Buchanan and Aidan Buchanan. She loved her grandchildren so much. She couldn’t resist telling stories about them daily. She also loved her many nieces and nephews and sister-in-law and was so appreciative that stayed in touch and visited her often. In 2015 Amy took her beloved baby grand piano and moved from her home on the farm to Legacy Independent Living. In her 5 years there she enjoyed being able to continue to play and was pleased that guest performers were grateful to be able to entertain on such a nice instrument. In the last year she was able to live there with the assistance of a group of fantastic caregivers. They formed very special relationships, and Amy said many times how fortunate she was to have such loving people helping her in her home. She had many old friends as neighbors there and met many new ones. She so missed “kibitzing” over lunch with these friends when the coronavirus arrived last year. When Hal died in 2012 they had been married for 64 years. They had a wonderful marriage and lived life to the fullest. They traveled all over the world together. Hal spent his retirement writing memoirs and wrote this short one which highlights their marriage and their sense of humor. My Favorite Wife Hal Mulford Amy is my favorite wife. The only one I have ever had….. we get along well. We agree on many things and disagree on few. When we do disagree, we do so in an agreeable way. We do not shout at each other. We make a good pair in many ways: She likes to talk. I’m a reasonably good listener-most of the time. She is adventurous; likes to try new things; new recipes; visit new places. She likes to cook good food. I like to eat good food. We both like to keep abreast of current events.We share liberal political views. Amy is an inveterate manager. She would be managing the universe if God had not gotten there first. Instead she must content herself with trying to manage America when she is not busy managing me. A Celebration of Life will be held later in the year when more people feel safe to travel. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be given in her name to one of the following: The University of Iowa School of Music: Memorial contributions may be made in support of the Amy Mulford Memorial Scholarship Fund and sent to the University of Iowa Center for Advancement, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244-4550. (On the memo line or on a note attached, please indicate “Gift in memory of Amy Mulford”.) DVIP (Domestic Violence Intervention Program: Online donations or mail check to: Domestic Violence Intervention Program,1105 S. Gilbert Court, Suite 300,Iowa City, IA 52240 Friends of the Animal Center Foundation, link to donate online or mail check to: Friends of Animal Center Foundation, P.O. Box 1345,Iowa City, IA 52244. To share a thought, memory or condolence please visit the funeral home website @