On the morning of Thursday, October 29, 2020, after a six-month Hospice journey, Mary Carolynne (Bowden) Oshe, age 78, changed her permanent mailing address to: Heaven- Escanaba Section, Eternity.
Mary was born on a cold January 2nd (which she proclaimed THE worst day for a birthday because everyone is sick of parties and on a diet) the 3rd daughter of George and Charlotte (Gafner) Bowden.
In 1966, Mary married Al Oshe. She was the only woman fierce enough to challenge the 6’6” mechanic, artist, and all-around wise guy. And He was the only guy to have just the right amount of fortitude, foresight, and humor to make the indomitable, witty, beauty (and best cook he’d ever met) his bride. Mary and Al spent all of their summers on the shores of Stonington, with their three children- Jodi, Bruce, and Charlotte, their nieces and nephews, and their summer family on Old Wilsey Bay, the Gillmans.
When Al unexpectedly died, Mary, then widow, and stay-at-home mom to four-year-old Charlotte, reached out and grabbed onto God’s loving promise, Romans 8:31, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
At age 40, she enrolled in college at Northern Michigan University and graduated Suma Cum Laude with a degree in Social Work. She then spent the rest of her career dedicated to both her family and to humanitarian efforts. She worked as Area Director for Adult Learning System-UP where she developed a deep reverence for the incredible people she served until her retirement. Ever a lover of full bellies, she helped run food banks in Delta and Dickinson counties. She demonstrated her devotion to children and faith by teaching Sunday School at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, and serving as a volunteer Grandma in Judy LaMarche’s Holy Name Kindergarten classes.
In 2001, Mary was blessed by an unexpected romance with Rapid River farmer, Ed Johnson. They had one beautiful year of wedded bliss until God suddenly called Ed home. Mary lived on and ran Ed’s farm for 7 more years maintaining his land, honoring his wishes, and loving his horses.
Mary gave generously where she saw need and stayed faithful and giving all the days of her life. Her 6 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren were the jewels in the crown of her heart and filled her last years with silly jokes, lots of snuggles, cooking parties, creative writing, and life lessons. Those grandchildren, who referred to her as MeMe, are Tim (Ella) Dubovsky, Andy (Nicole) Dubovsky, Ryan Oshe, Mary Scheuren, Isaiah Linn, and step-granddaughter, Emily Linn. Great-grandchildren, AlieJae Dubovsky, Dylan Knutson, Eli, Wyatt, and Ethaniel Langston, and “Baby D” to premiere in the Philippines in 2021.
AND most especially of joyous note; Mary took Jesus’ hand with a song in her ear, a jaunty hat on her head, all while securely wrapped in the love of her family. Just the way she wanted it. We thank God for that!
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Al Oshe; her second husband, Ed Johnson; parents, George and Charlotte (Gafner) Bowden; sister, Jeanne (Bowden) Labreche; and best friend, Betty Gillman.
Mary is survived by her children, Jodi (Mike) Dubovsky of Quinnesec, MI, Bruce (Bonnie) Oshe of Gladstone, MI, and Charlotte (Christopher aka Gus Linn) Oshe; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; sister, Barbara Bowden (Bill) Westermann of Port Huron, MI; brother, Bruce Bowden of Stonington, MI; many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews; her dear high school chums; and The Lentils.
A gathering celebrating Mary’s life will take place the summer of 2021 (pandemic permitting) on Old Wilsey Bay. Condolences can be sent to The Family of Mary Oshe: 232 So. 22nd St., Escanaba, MI 49829.
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