Mary Barram (1919 - 2013)

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Mary Elizabeth Barram

February 5, 1919 - August 24, 2013

SALEM - Mary Elizabeth Mackay was born on February 5, 1919 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to James Mackay and Edith Shaver Mackay. After high school she attended Canada Business College in Hamilton, and then Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

On June 27, 1942 she was married to Edward T. Barram at Philpott Memorial Tabernacle in Hamilton, where they had met when Betty was 13 and Ed was 20. Ed told the story often of seeing this beautiful 13-year old in the youth choir and vowing to marry her. That wait lasted 10 years. After their wedding, the young couple traveled to Troy, New Hampshire where Ed became pastor of the First Baptist Church. While in Troy, Ed studied at and graduated from Gordon Seminary in Wenham, Massachusetts.

Betty was the loving and beloved mother of five sons - David, Daniel, Dirk, Peter and Stephen. The growing family lived in Foxboro MA, Rockland ME, Woburn MA, Londonderry NH, and Cuyahoga Falls, OH. Besides being wife and mother Betty worked as Ed's secretary, when he became a regional director of the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society in 1957. She supported him professionally through the rest of his career, which took them to San Jose California in 1977 and eventually to Lake Oswego, Oregon in 1993. Ed died in 1997. In 2005 Betty moved to Capital Manor in Salem, Oregon.

Betty began a relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as a young girl, and this relationship was the foundation upon which she lived her life. Her strong, steady faith enabled her to go through life with peace and joy, because she trusted that God was in control. Betty served as a Sunday School teacher, a women's speaker, a choir member and a Bible study leader. She has had a positive impact in the lives of countless people.

Always a writer at heart, Betty was too busy to indulge that talent while her children were young. She did write a weekly family letter to all of the family members as they went away to college, got married and had families. It kept the family very close and is one of the legacies she left. She continued to write magazine articles right up until her stroke in December, 2012. One article, "Running Your Race" was published in Evangel magazine in January, 2013. Another, "What Inheritance are You Leaving Your Family?" will be published this September in Mature Living magazine.

To commemorate their 50th wedding anniversary in 1992, Betty wrote a book of anecdotes and life lessons, entitled "Journey for the Gold." She followed it in 1997 with "Our Guide Even to the End." These books are a wonderful trove of memories and spiritual inspiration for Betty's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren - all 55 of them!

In the prologue to her second book Betty wrote: "Life will be uncertain; we need to be realistic about that. One thing we know for sure, 'This God is our God for ever and ever. He will be our guide even to the end.'" (Psalm 48:14.) Right up until the end Betty was an inspiration to all of her family and friends who will miss her, but never forget her.

The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the caregivers at Manor Care at Capital Manor. You cared for our dear mother with respect, dignity and genuine love over the past eight months. Please accept our heartfelt thanks.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Missions Door Project #04822 S, 2530 Washington St. Denver, CO. 80205.

Celebration of life will be held Sunday, September 1 at 1:30 pm in the Community Life Center at Salem First Baptist Church. Arrangements by Restlawn Funeral Home. Memories online at

Funeral Home
Restlawn Funeral Home, Restlawn Memory Gardens and Mausoleum - Salem
201 Oak Grove Road NW
Salem, OR 97304
503 585-1373
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Published in StatesmanJournal on Aug. 29, 2013
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