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Mary Jane Rausch passed away Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 of melanoma cancer.

The daughter of John B. and Marie R. Zellmer, she was born in Oshkosh, WI, and graduated from Oshkosh High School.

In her early 20s, she began having kidney problems. After moving to Arizona she had a kidney transplant in 1976, with a kidney donated by her oldest brother Jack.

It was during her wait for the transplant that she met and married Jim Bourque. They traveled extensively before divorcing in the '90s.

Because they frequently moved, Mary became an expert interior decorator. Every home she ever lived in, whether big or small, looked right out of Home Beautiful, always stylish, yet comfortable and welcoming.

Mary moved to Green Valley and worked for Green Valley Furnishings, the Larsen Co. and Walbro. As the receptionist at Walbro, she sent out a daily memo advising who would be in or out of the office. These memos gradually became an outlet for her love of writing, with daily musing on things she saw and felt. The e-mail became so popular that everyone wanted copies, and even people not working for the company wanted to be on the e-mail list.

In 2004 Mary met George Rausch. They married and had 5 wonderful years together playing golf, traveling and entertaining. Mary was the epitome of a great hostess. She loved everything about cooking. Most people remember their travels by the sites they saw. Mary remembered hers by what she ate. She vividly remembered every good and bad meal she ever had. She knew all the good places to eat, from little diners to big gourmet restaurants.

She loved giving dinner parties, the planning, the shopping for food and the arrangement of a beautiful table. No paper plates or paper napkins allowed! She had a wonderful knack for making people feel at home, pampered and cared for.

She was truly a "classy" lady. Always dressed to perfection with just the right accessories and always, until the last few years, high heels, even with jeans. She was a loving sister, wife, friend and stepmother who will be greatly missed.

Preceding her in death were her parents, her twins James and Jennette, her loving husband George Rausch, sister Joan M. Kennedy, brother John T. Zellmer and stepson Michael Bourque.

She is survived by sisters, Nancy N. Pearce, Kay E. Otto, and Gail F. Bartel, plus brothers, David (Jill) and Gary (Marie) Zellmer; her stepchildren, Michael (Rose) Rausch, Melissa (Michael) Zornitsky, Alan (Janet) Krusi, Dawn Krusi; ex-husband Jim Bourque and stepchildren Sheila Bourque, Mary (Michael) Hualde, Chuck Bourque, Patrick (Janine) Bourque, Nancy (Klaus) Kunhnert and John ( Jan) Bourque; plus numerous nieces and nephews.

Her family wishes to thank Carondelet Hospice, Access Wisdom and all who sent her flowers, cards and music, which made her final days more comfortable. A celebration of her life is being planned and will be announced at a later date.

Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Dec. 5, 2012
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