On Wednesday afternoon, an unseasonably beautiful Southern Indiana July day, Mary Sauls went Home. Having walked with her Lord through this world for very nearly 86 years, Mary took His hand and left her suffering behind to walk with Him in Glory.
Mary was born Aug. 1, 1927 in St. Louis, part of an old German family.
Her early years, like many others of her generation, were not easy ones. The Great Depression was in full swing, and Mary's mother raised her family as a single working mother. The two most important lessons Mary learned growing up were the importance of family and the love of Jesus. Those lessons sustained Mary throughout her life.
Mary was baptized into the faith Sept. 11, 1927 in Our Savior Lutheran
Church in St. Louis, and was confirmed there as a member.
When she was 13 years old, Mary began to sing in the church choir; her love of music and singing developed into a lifelong passion.
On May 11, 1946, at an Our Savior Walther League cookout held at her family's home, Mary met a young student from Concordia Seminary. They began to see each other regularly and began a relationship that would last the rest of her life. She and Ottis, newly ordained as a Lutheran minister, were married June 4, 1950 and began their lifelong journey together. Mary and Ottis celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary this year.
The first waypoint on Mary's walk of faith was St. John's Lutheran Church in Deer Lodge, Montana, high in the Rocky Mountains. As the wife of a new pastor, she continued to be a part of church activities, as a member of the choir and the Ladies Aid, while struggling to make ends meet on a meager income. In 1951, Mary entered a new phase of her life as a new mother, with the birth of David.
Her stay in Montana was not a long one, and she and Ottis journeyed on to Beach, N.D. and St. Paul's Lutheran Church. Once again, she was active in the church, as a member of the choir, the Ladies Aid, and as a Sunday School teacher. While in Beach, Mary gave birth to two more children: Daniel, who lived only long enough to be baptized and whose death tore Mary's heart open, and Donald.
From Beach, Mary journeyed to Austin, Texas and Grace Lutheran Church. In Austin, Mary was welcomed into the arms of her husband's family. Mary continued in the Ladies Aid, and as a Sunday School teacher, and again sang in the choir. Mary added Timothy and Janice to her family before the time came to move on.
Hope Lutheran Church in Bridgeville, Penn. was her next stop. At Hope, Mary continued her involvement with the choir, the Ladies Aid, and as a Sunday School teacher. She tended her growing family, and sang, and waged an ongoing but successful battle to make ends meet. The skill of sewing that she had learned working in St. Louis stood her in good stead here, when she made clothing for her children.
In 1964, Mary arrived in Seymour, with Ottis and the children. Redeemer Lutheran Church and Seymour became her home and she thrived. Mary joined the choir almost immediately and didn't miss a practice except for serious illness or being out of town. She was instrumental in starting the Redeemer Bell Choir and was the first director. She was a member of the Altar Guild and used her sewing skills to sew vestments for the altar. She was a member of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League, the Fellowship Club, and the Couples Club. She was a member of the Quilting Circle and worked very hard sewing quilts and making blankets for Lutheran World Relief. If there was the Lord's Work to be done, Mary was there to help.
But Mary was also a member of the Adult Bible Class and the Tuesday Morning Bible Class, because she knew that she had to feed her soul on the Word of God.
Mary was a devoted wife and mother, and a devoted Child of God. She loved Jesus, her church and her family. Her journey has carried her beyond our sight now, to the feet of her Saviour, where her alto voice is raised in praise. She left us on Wednesday afternoon and we all know that Wednesday evening is choir practice. Mary did not like to miss choir practice and would not be late for her Saviour. She said her goodbyes to her family and stepped deliberately from among us to don her new, white robe and find her place in heaven's alto section.
Funeral services were conducted Monday, July 29 at Reedemer Lutheran Church. Burial followed at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Seymour.
Condolences may be sent to the family through Voss Funeral Service and memorials may be written to Redeemer Expansion Fund or the Donor's Choice through Voss Funeral Service, Seymour.
A complete obituary may be viewed on the funeral home website at www.vossfuneralservice.com