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Mary M. Davis

April 12, 2018

Loving, humble, and wise, Mary Davis lived a life rich in family. With a boundless passion for learning, grit, and stamina, Mary welcomed each moment as a gift. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and teacher who possessed deep gratitude for the simplest comforts and pleasures. In so doing, Mary served as a powerful role model not only for her own children but also the many children she cared for at school and those she warmly welcomed into her home. To all who knew her, Mary was a source of love, acceptance, encouragement, and inspiration. While she will be greatly missed, her bright light will continue to shine in the hearts of those she so deeply loved.

Dorothy E. (Black) and Arthur A. Baren welcomed their daughter Mary into their hearts and home on October 13, 1937. Raised in Huntertown, Indiana Mary learned the values of family and hard work from her father who worked at International Harvester and her mother who was a homemaker. The oldest of the Baren girls, Mary enjoyed the good company of her younger sisters, Jean and Lois who in many ways served as her first students! Resourceful from the start, Mary became an expert cricket catcher one year while her father was on strike. She gathered the crickets she caught and sold them as bait to local fishermen, eagerly doing her part to supplement the family’s income.

A proud Huntertown Wildcat, Mary enjoyed school. She followed basketball and enjoyed cheering on her peers. Naturally called to teach, after graduating from high school, Mary attended Indiana University for two years. She then transferred to Ball State where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education. Committed to her growth as a teacher, Mary then chose to pursue a master’s degree. Like many teachers at the time, Mary took distance learning classes towards her master’s degree. The classes were held at the Gentry Bar in Paulding. With her signature organizational skills and hard work, Mary successfully graduated from Bowling Green State University.

During a fateful visit to her sister Jean and brother-in-law Joe's home, Mary had the good fortune of meeting Joe’s pal, Richard “Dick” Davis. Instantly smitten, Mary and Dick soon began dating and dreaming of building a future together. On December 23, 1966, during Mary’s winter break from school, the happy couple married at the First Presbyterian Church in Antwerp which was celebrated with a reception at Ray’s Restaurant on Main Street in Antwerp.

The newlyweds made their home in Antwerp until 1971 when they bought their farm east of Paulding, Ohio. Here they happily raised their three children; Rebecca, Russell, and Leora. Mary loved her family more than life itself, and she passionately centered her world around her children and the farm. Balancing work and family life, Mary kept her children busy. Between school, farm life, 4-H, school band, and Boy Scouts for son, Russ there was always a steady pulse of activity running through the Davis home. The busyness of farm life did not allow for many family vacations, but an especially memorable road trip was taken in the green Plymouth Volare during which Mary often said, “We’ll be there in half an hour.”

After teaching at Antwerp Local School from 1966 until 1999, Mary celebrated retirement by spending more treasured time with her children and grandchildren. Many happy moments were spent exploring the farm, lingering at the pond, and playing her piano. Nothing delighted Mary quite like her grandchildren “making” her piano sing!

Driven by a need to ensure that she would never inconvenience anyone, Mary carefully planned and prepared for all of life’s “what if’s.” Wisely, she balanced this planning by taking in and counting her many blessings. Whether attending concerts in Shipshewana, vacationing at Put-In-Bay on Lake Erie, or reminding us that “Pretty is as pretty does,” Mary consciously appreciated both trials and triumphs as life gifts. The ease with which she found happiness is easily evidenced in the gratitude list she wrote and kept near her bed which includes the following: “my bed and warm covers, looking back at the pond area, wind chimes, the pull-string light, the golf cart, grandfather clock chimes, roosters crowing, grape wreath reindeer in the fence row, computer for shop and travel, shutters on windows, all night light, ready-made coffee, and of course the assortment of alarms.”

Without a doubt, it is difficult to imagine life in the absence of Mary’s happy and steadfast presence. May it afford deep comfort to know that Mary delighted in watching her family grow and seeing the spark of her legacy continue to shine in the hearts and lives of those she loved. Cherished by many, Mary will long be remembered by those who were blessed to share her life.

Mary M. Davis, 80, of Paulding, passed away in the comforts of her home on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

Mary will be sadly missed by her husband, Richard R. Davis, whom she married Dec. 23, 1966; children, Rebecca (Alan) Kohart, Leora Smalley, both of Paulding, Russell (Theresa) of Pleasant Grove, Alabama; son-in-law, John Smalley of Cecil; sisters, Jean (Joe) Vail of Antwerp & Lois (Bruce) Bailey of Churubusco; grandchildren, Michael & Sidney Kohart, Isaac Smalley & Julia Davis.

Mary's service is Monday, 11 am with visitation one hour prior at Dooley Funeral Home, 202 W. River Street, Antwerp.

Visitation is also Sunday, 2-5 pm at Dooley Funeral Home.

Memorials are to Paulding Band Boosters.

Fond memories may be shared at www.dooleyfuneralhome.com

Mary M. Davis, 80, of Paulding, passed away at home on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

Mary was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 13, 1937, a daughter of the late Dorothy E. (Black) and Arthur A Baren.

She taught at Antwerp Local School until her retirement in 1999. 

Mary will be sadly missed by her husband, Richard R. Davis, whom she married Dec. 23, 1966; children, Rebecca (Alan) Kohart, Leora Smalley, both of Paulding, Russell (Theresa) of Pleasant Grove, Alabama; son-in-law, John Smalley of Cecil; sisters, Jean (Joe) Vail of Antwerp & Lois (Bruce) Bailey of Churubusco; grandchildren, Michael &  Sidney Kohart, Isaac Smalley & Julia Davis.

Mary's service is Monday, 11 am with visitation one hour prior at Dooley Funeral Home, 202 W. River Street, Antwerp.

Visitation is also Sunday, 2-5 pm at Dooley Funeral Home.

Memorials are to Paulding Band Boosters.

Fond memories may be shared at www.dooleyfuneralhome.com

 

 

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