It was only two months ago that I posted about Mother Mary's 100th birthday party held on January 1. Sadly, on March 5th at midnight, mom died peacefully in her sleep. Even though the inevitable is expected, it is still unexpected. She developed an infection in her foot, it began to spread and she was put on powerful antibiotics which upset her stomach and her appetite. She had a bit of congestive heart failure, and developed pneumonia - all in all, it was too much. Thankfully, she was as sharp as ever until the end, and did not linger. Mixed blessing. Here is her obituary:
Mary A. Swartzendruber, 100, passed away peacefully Monday, March 5, at The Gables (Greencroft), after a short illness.
She was born in Cecil, Ohio, to Samuel and Anna (Plank) Aschliman, the fourth child among eleven siblings.
The family moved several times and it was in Pigeon, Michigan, that she met Edward G. Swartzendruber. They were wed April 2, 1939. Daughter Kay was born in Pigeon and the family then moved to a farm southeast of Goshen, where son Douglas was born.
Mary is survived by Kay Montgomery, Palm Springs, California, and Douglas E. (Rhonda Willems) Swartzendruber, Westminster, Colorado; four grandchildren, Anna Montgomery, Douglas, Nick and Rachel Swartzendruber; four great-grandchildren, Silas, Noelle, Elias and Isabelle; brothers, John Aschliman, Goshen, Dale (Pat) Aschliman, Sarasota, Florida; and sisters, Anna Belle Emmert, Goshen, Betty Lambright, Venice, Florida, and Carolyn (Jim) Stephens, Venice, Florida.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; brothers, Ervin and Walter "Archie" Aschliman; and sisters, Ada Heller, Rose Grime and Dorothy Anklam.
As a longtime resident of New Paris and Goshen, Mary and Ed were involved in numerous family and community activities including establishing Edwamar (for Edward and Mary) Farms, south of Goshen. They were generous supporters of individuals, College Mennonite Church, Goshen College, especially the music program and facilities, and a variety of additional charitable organizations.
Mary was a lifelong homemaker. She was a highly-skilled seamstress; a talented cook with a special gift for preparing large meals for many people; an accomplished crocheter, making prayer shawls for College Mennonite Church and baby hats for Goshen Hospital; a community and church volunteer; and a talented singer and a member of Saint John Singers, Middesingers and Lyric Choir.
She was particularly gifted with a keen memory for names, faces and events. She was pleased to earn her GED as an adult since she had to drop out of school at a young age. She loved to travel and visited many places in the USA, including Hawaii and Alaska, the Caribbean, cities in Europe, China and New Zealand.
Friends may call Friday, March 9, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, Goshen, where a memorial service will be conducted Saturday at 11 a.m. Pastor Phil Waite will officiate.
Private burial at Violett Cemetery will precede the memorial service.
Memorial contributions may be given to Ed and Mary Swartzendruber Music Scholarship Fund at Goshen College.
I have 100's of photos of Aunt Mary, as she was known to many, but for now, will just add one:
April 1, 1939