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Mary L. Willard

1930 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Mary L. Willard Obituary
Willard, Mary L.
1930 - 2017
Mary Louise Willard, age 87, of Columbus, Ohio, died at her home on Friday, December 29, 2016. Mary was born Mary L. Brown, 1930, in Pataskala, Ohio. Mary was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Robert E. Willard, mother Mary Iona (Tracey) Brown, father John C. Brown, sisters, Stella Palmer, Mildred Evans, and Glenna Black, and by her sons Dennis E. Willard and Robert Dale Willard. Mary is survived by her, daughter Kathy A. (Willard) Brunell of Georgia, son Douglas Willard (Patricia Quintana) of Virginia, grandchildren, Andrea (Todd) DeBella, Mark (Jayme) Brunell, and Jennie (Chris) Dawson, and 7 great-grandchildren, Natalie DeBella, Lincoln and Penelope Brunell, and Cayden, Camryn, Adalyn and Cora Dawson, all of Georgia. A 1948 graduate of Newark High School, Mary worked as a restaurant wait person and then at Ohio Power until she met and married Robert Willard in 1949. Mary and Bob moved from Newark to Columbus in 1955. Mary and Bob were devoted members of The Church of the Master, United Methodist Church, Westerville. Mary belonged to the American Legion Auxiliary Post #82. Mary was active in scouts, PTA, and summer sports before she began working at the library at 5th Avenue School. In 1973, Mary became a school bus driver with the Worthington school system where she very much enjoyed seeing the students safely to and from school. She retired from this work in 1990. Mary would never fly, but she and Bob traveled the US in the 80s and 90s visiting family and friends from California to Florida, and many places in between. Mary, feeding a family of six, had become an excellent cook through the years. Her children urged her to start growing her own vegetables, which escalated into digging up most of the back yard for planting. When her success yielded so much volume, she began canning all the food she did not give to family and neighbors. Mary and Bob eventually expanded their gardening to extra plots in Worthington, resulting in even more extensive canning operations. Many people will recall her delectable sweet pickles. Masses of Christmas cookies and fudge were common for many years. Pecan and cherry pies happened as second nature for Mary. Passionate about her flower gardens, they took over the remaining areas of their yard. Many of her plantings are from her mother and sisters. The birds (especially hummingbirds & woodpeckers), and squirrels and butterflies were Mary's favorites, too. During their retirement Mary and Bob did nearly 15 years of meals-delivery, "Lunch Bunch", and transportation with the AIDS Service Connection and LifeCare Alliance of Columbus. Calling hours will be on Wednesday, January 3, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at RUTHERFORD-CORBIN FUNERAL HOME, 515 High St. Worthington where Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, January 4, 2018. Burial will be immediately following the service at Northlawn Memory Garden, Westerville, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in memory of Mary to: Church of the Master United Methodist Church, Westerville, Cat Welfare of Columbus, Pilot Dogs of Columbus, or Jungle Friends in Gainesville, Florida. www.rutherfordfuneralhome.com
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Dec. 31, 2017
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