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Mary Packard

1924 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Mary Packard Obituary
Packard, Mary 1924 -2017
Mary Francis Packard, 93, passed away on November 11, 2017 in Burlington, Vermont. Mary was born on March 30, 1924 in Columbus, Ohio to Joseph and Francis Uhl. She graduated from Sacred Heart High School at the age of 15. At eighteen she was crowned Miss Ohio and belonged to a traveling dance group that gave her the opportunity to travel outside her small world of Columbus. She married James Lee Packard in 1942 and together they had nine children residing in Bexley, Ohio. According to Mary they were "The smartest and most beautiful children ever born." And if you were Mary's friend, you heard about her "brilliant" children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in every conversation. In 1952 at the age of 27 and as a mother of five, Mary was named "Mrs. Columbus" based on her housekeeping and cooking skills and bathing suit competition. (This was long before the feminist movement). Mary and Jim were known among their circle of friends as the best swing dancers in the city. After the birth of her last child, Mary started work at the Columbus Depot and then worked for the U.S. Navy until her retirement in 1988. Mary was an adventurer and loved to travel. Alone, she traveled in her little camper to forty states. In her late seventies, she traveled alone to Europe and said, "Imagine, just a poor girl from Ohio having this dream come true; Thank you Gary and Gloria. She was a devout Catholic and her greatest pride was making sure her children went to church every Sunday and received all their sacraments. Mary and Jim loved watching two pews fill up with "The smartest and most beautiful children ever born." She was preceded in death by her husband, James Lee Packard in 1976 and her daughter Mary Elizabeth (Mev) in 1990, her parents and her brothers Donald and Joseph Uhl. She is survived by daughters, Karen Yeager (Roy), Katherine White (Bill); six sons, Daniel (Charlie), James Lee Jr. (Molly), Richard (Deborah), William (Claudia), Gary (Gloria) and John Frederick (named after their best friend, Spook Beckman); 19 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and Marie Uhl her special sister-in-law. Our family would like to thank her caregivers at Cathedral Square where she resided for the past six years. She was always treated with dignity and respect as they put up with her "no filter" personality and loved her infectious laughter. Thank you to the dedicated caregivers at the Vermont Respite House where she died peacefully with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren by her side. In memory of Mary please hug your children and loved ones today. Mom requested a mass be said in her memory. There will be a celebration of her life in the summer of 2018 when, as a family, we will return her ashes to her beloved Columbus, Ohio. Arrangements are under the direction of Champlain Cremation.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Nov. 28, 2017
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