Mary Louise Bluhm

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Mary Louise Bluhm, 85, died 5 January 2013 while attending a dinner with her husband Wilbur by her side.

Mary was born 24 June 1927 to Elmer Brunzell and Louise Nelson Brunzell.  She was the first baby born in the Brewster Hospital in Holdrege, Nebraska, grew up in the Holdrege vicinity and attended public schools there.  She graduated from Holdrege High School in 1945 as valedictorian of her class.  Subsequently she attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and graduated in 1949 with a double major in clothing and textiles and home economics education.  After graduation she taught vocational home economics at Lyons and Seward, Nebraska, and Waterman, Illinois.  At all three schools she was a much respected supervising teacher for home economics education majors from University of Nebraska and Northern Illinois University.

She wed Wilbur Bluhm August 13, 1953 in the United Methodist Church at Holdrege, Nebraska.  In 1957 they moved to Keizer, Oregon.  After moving to Oregon a daughter, Ann, and two sons, Robert and James were born.  Her family was the center of her attention; she selflessly focused significant energies on their development and numerous extracurricular activities.

While the children were young Mary was active in their schools, including the Parent-Teacher Association of which she became president.  When her children were in high school Mary was regularly seen rooting for her sons’ basketball and baseball teams, even weathering the frequent cold and rainy days that greet spring baseball in Oregon! During this time she also taught decorative painting, including tole and folk art, in her home.  Many adults from throughout the Salem-Keizer community learned these arts from her.  Even with her other duties, Mary found time to pursue her passions for sewing, quilting and American Brilliant Period cut glass, along with her monthly neighborhood ladies’ Luncheon Club.

Mary was a devoted member of First United Methodist Church in Salem for 54 years, where she taught Sunday School classes, was active in United Methodist Women and served on other church committees. She was also a member of Chapter CB, PEO.

She is survived by her husband of 59 plus years, Wilbur; sons Robert (Melodee) Bluhm, and James (Carol) Bluhm, five granddaughters, one grandson and one great grandson.  She is also survived by son-in-law Dean Mattson, several nieces and nephews, and other relatives, and by many friends.  She was preceded in death by her daughter Ann Bluhm Mattson.

Mary will forever be remembered as a loving, caring and faithful wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday, January 12 at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Salem.

Remembrances of Mary may be made to the First United Methodist Church, the Marion-Polk Food Share, or the charity of your choice.

Arrangements are by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

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