Mary Kibbee Baines needed a livelihood that would bring in more money.
So she became a real estate agent.
In the mid-1960s, Baines became one of the first female real estate agents in the Omaha area. She enjoyed a successful 30-year career.
Baines died Thursday at the age of 100.
“The most important thing was his work ethic,” said his daughter Rose Roeder.
Baines was born in Arion, Iowa, but spent most of her life in Omaha. She attended St. Bernard Catholic School and graduated from Holy Name High School.
Baines won a scholarship to attend Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, but could not afford room and board or books. So she stayed home and got a job with the US Army Corps of Engineers.
After the war, she met her first husband while dancing. They got married and had three children.
After her husband’s death, Roeder said, the family moved from their home in Elkhorn to Omaha to be closer to extended family.
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Baines went to work as a payroll and accounts clerk for the Benson Sun newspaper. But she was looking to make more money, so she got into real estate, Roeder said.
Baines has always been interested in homes — both the building process and the buying process, her daughter said.
Baines got her real estate license in 1966, her friend and fellow real estate agent Jeanne Patrick said.
She built up a clientele and stayed in touch with them over the years.
“Mom’s work ethic was always emphasized for us,” Roeder said. “Plus, be honest with people.”
Few places wanted to hire female real estate agents in the 1960s, Patrick said. When she was hired at NP Dodge, she found a mentor and friend in Baines.
“It was a troupe,” Patrick said.
As an agent, Baines was thorough, organized and determined. She covered all the bases and told the truth to customers, Patrick said.
A “go-getter” who was “ahead of her time,” Baines “performed very well working in an office full of men,” she said.
Baines spent most of his career with NP Dodge, retiring in 1999.
Baines remarried twice, also meeting her husbands at dance events, her daughter said.
Baines was proud, her daughter said, that all of her children and grandchildren had graduated from college.
“It was her biggest goal in life because it was something she couldn’t do,” Roeder said.
Baines was a longtime member of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Omaha and was also involved with the American Legion’s No. 1 Auxiliary.
Baines’ family threw a party for his 100th birthday at the Legion post. It drew around 100 guests and featured catered food and live music, her daughter said.
The shindig was appropriate, Roeder said, because Baines often told her children that she wanted her life celebrated while she was alive.
Baines is predeceased by her three husbands, Wilmor R. Fallon, George T. Kibbee and Donald E. Baines. In addition to Roeder, she is survived by her son Mark Fallon and daughter Julie Grebenick as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services are private. Donations can be made to the Servants of Mary.
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