Mary Shofner

Mary Shofner is a farmer’s wife and a farmer’s daughter. She’s been married to Steve Shofner for almost 45 years, and the couple has two children, Craig and Stephanie, and two grandchildren, Jase and Cate. The family has a farm on the Meramec River and also owns land near Mary’s mother’s Century Farm in Cherryville.

Outside of the farm, Mary has spent more than 30 years working as a human resources professional. She works a coach and facilitator with The Quality Coach and is a certified trainer in Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” facilitating training in five countries, including India, Ireland, Belgium and Canada.  

Mary also is co-chair of the Franklin County Area United Way. “Our theme this year is Improving Lives — Better Together!” she says. “And after all, aren’t we all better together?”

When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... a professional horse trainer and barrel racer!

What would you rather be doing right now? Riding a mule down into the Grand Canyon.

Shh! Don’t tell anyone that ... my mom has an identical twin. They married brothers. My brother and my cousins aren’t really sure which twin is our mama!

Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? As a teenager, I competed in horse shows. We followed a circuit, and my horse and I won grand champion. As an adult, I participated in (and finished) an organized bicycle ride across Iowa — 477 miles. 

It really stinks when ... people choose to be hateful to others.  

What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Adventuresome! I love to travel and can be a bit of a thrill-seeker.

I always laugh when ... I do something stupid. And it seems that the older I get, the more I laugh!

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? What would you serve? My dad and my two children, Craig and Stephanie! My dad was a wonderful man, told great stories, and I wish he would have lived long enough for my kids to really get to know and appreciate him. I would ask my son to grill!

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... ride around the farm on our side-by-side with Steve (my husband) and look at baby calves, see wildlife and just enjoy the peacefulness of the farm.

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... upbeat and positive!  

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ...  I think St. John’s Mercy Hospital is filled with “greatness,” and I’m so very grateful to them and for them. They have saved my life twice. (I’m sure God had a big hand in it, though!) Our community is so very fortunate to have such greatness! 

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... go horseback riding with family and friends.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is still no way I would ... keep it all to myself! I would share with Franklin County Area United Way and the agencies they help support. Otherwise, my husband would just keep farming until it was all gone!

America should be more concerned about ... the survival of farms in the U.S. and our growing dependency on foreign countries.  

I’m OK if there’s ever a national shortage of ... hate!

When I’m in a bookstore, I always go to this section first: I love historical fiction and biographies.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? Focus on the good you see in people, and their shortcomings will be minimized!  

When I’m cruising down the road, I’m likely listening to ... country music. I enjoy Garth, Luke Holmes, Chris Stapleton. Also enjoy the early Beatles!

I always get sentimental when ... someone does an outstanding job singing the national anthem.  

The older I get, the more I realize ... how precious life is! When I hear myself saying, “one of these days, I’m going to …,” I start planning!

If I had one “do-over” I would … Not sure I would change a thing!  

My favorite item of clothing is ... jeans and cowboy boots!

If I’ve learned anything at all ... it is to appreciate the gift of life.

What do you wish Washington or Franklin County had to offer?  I can’t think of anything — I’m so proud to be part of this community.

Who is your personal hero or mentor? My cousin, Jeanne Gladden, has been my shero.  I’ve always looked up to her, and who knows, she may even be my sister! She has been my mentor and sometimes my tormentor, but best friend always!

A historical figure I’d like to meet is ... Father Damien. He demonstrated such bravery, influence and great teachings with his work on Molokai.  

In my opinion there is no more beautiful place on Earth than ... the Grand Canyon. We have walked it, rode mules down it and floated over 90 miles in the Colorado River.

I’ll watch the movie anytime it is on television: “Secretariat.”  

What’s your superpower? My sense of humor!  

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask? I would love to know the truth behind the assassination of JFK, but that’s the past! For the future, I would like to know — will we, as a nation, ever learn to live in peace and learn to love, or at least appreciate, one another?