ForeverMissed
Stories
Shared by Julie Smith Walker on September 1, 2020
When I was 5 years old our family moved in to Port Ashley into a house three down from the Hendricks.  They had a son, Brian, who was my younger brother's age and a daughter, Brynn, who was right between my sister and me.  Our families became fast friends.  The kids played together, our dads ran together every morning and Mary invited my mom into her bible study and circle of friends.  Fast forward 45 years to current day and I can confidently say that outside of Jesus, Mary has had the biggest influence on our family of anyone or anything.  She introduced my mom to an authentic, loving version of Christ that none of us had ever known before.  She shepherded her through bible studies and helped her grow in her faith.  Eventually, our entire family came to know Christ and to follow him.  This faith created a legacy for our entire family and changed the course of all of our lives.  I am so sad to lose her in this world but rejoice in the fact that, thanks to Mary and her faithful witness,  we will all get to have a big reunion in heaven.  I know we are just some of the many lives that she touched.  I count it one of my life's true blessings that the Lord shared her with us.

My Precious Mentor

Shared by Michelle Ballou on August 31, 2020
Precious Mary,
I'm so very grateful to you and to the Lord for giving you to me as a mentor.  We met in 1997 when I started working with MENA and I asked you to mentor me.  You selflessly poured into me during our weekly times together.  Your faith was real and you loved well.  I LOVED being in your beautiful home and laughing, riding bikes, walking and learning from you.  I wanted to be like you in so many ways.

As my mentor, you decided to join me on our short term trip to Egypt!  That was so amazing to experience that together.  I was so grateful that you were willing to deal with so much craziness and be your joyful, steady presence through all of the adventures we had there.  

Not only all of this, but I have you to thank for my husband!!!  :). During one of our hang times, you asked me what I was looking for in a husband.  I went and thought about it and wrote a long list.  You committed to praying with me over this list and several months later, I met my husband.  And HONESTLY, you would think I'd written the list AFTER meeting him, it described him so well!!  The effective prayers of a righteous woman can accomplish MUCH!!!  

You and Don have poured into Greg and me and my kids so much!  Over the years of living overseas, you have ALWAYS been some of the people we long to see most when we're stateside!!!  Each of my kids just loves you and Don and we always relish time with you all.  You have always been so supportive of us in every way and it meant so much to us.  

Mary, I miss you.  I love you.  You have been so precious to me throughout my adult life.  THANK YOU for giving so much of yourself to so many.  My life and the lives of my family members have been richly blessed by you!!!

Love, Michelle Ballou and the whole Ballou fam
Shared by Gail Wozniak on August 29, 2020
When Mariners Church and South Coast Community Church came together, I met Mary. (1996)  We were both active in similar areas of ministry.  I began observing that Mary’s “Walk” matched her “talk”.  At a women’s retreat I requested that she would consider meeting with me in a mentor type relationship.  She prayed about it and came back with a “let’s do it”.

We have met weekly since, starting in 1996.  She was faithful, prayerful, funny. She pushed my boundaries, let me ask difficult questions, and she allowed me to verbally process in a safe and confidential space. We continued to meet (although not weekly near the end) until her health began deteriorating. 

Every week when she came over, I made her hot tea.  It always amused me the way she drank it.  She would dip the tea bag in it only once or twice and immediately take the tea bag out. The tea was so weak that it was like barely flavored water.   Years later, after joining the same bible study as Mary, I came to find out that she loved coffee and really didn’t like tea at all.  She never complained or asked for anything different.  

I treasure my memories and learnings from this beautiful woman.  She has left me with priceless insights that serve me to this day.  And while she is no longer with us here on earth, her legacy lives on and is being passed down to other young women who I now have the privilege of meeting with. 

I look forward to seeing Mary again in glory and perhaps sharing a cup of weak tea together. 

A good friend

Shared by Jim Gaffney on August 29, 2020
Fond memories of Mary from back in 1992 when my family and I moved to accept a job at Mariners church. Mary & Don were among the first to welcome me and have demonstrated their wonderful love for me and Jesus consistently throughout the years. Mary you will be missed greatly, rest in God’s eternal love

She loved me to Jesus

Shared by Toni Julia Smith on August 28, 2020
As soon as we moved onto Port Ashley in Harbor View Mary and her family were knocking on our door to welcome us. Little did we know that she and her family would soon be welcoming us not only to Newport but to Mariners Church, to Jesus, to true Christianity, to Bible Studies, Ministries, and to a  community of lifelong wonderful friends. But Mary’s love was like that. It was the real deal. I’ve said before that she “loved us to the Lord”, and she truly did. Mary’s gift to us is immeasurable and beyond words. I look forward to the day I will see her again in God’s heaven. Until then, “Goodbye my dear and faithful friend. I thank God upon my every remembrance of you.”

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