marylovanDecember 1, 1930 – May 1, 2009

Mary Helen Lovan, 78, of Bryan passed away on Friday, May 1, 2009, at Christus Dubuis Hospital in Bryan. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 4, at Hillier Funeral Home. Services are set for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 5, at First United Methodist of Bryan. Burial will be on Thursday, May 7, at Laurel Oaks Cemetery in Windsor, Mo.

Mary was born on December 1, 1930, in Windsor, Mo., to Ernest and Dimple McKenzie Johnson. Mary came from a large family, being the ninth of eleven children. Her early years laid the foundation for a lifetime of love and devotion to her family and friends.

Mary graduated from high school in Windsor, Mo., where she met and fell in love with the man of her dreams, Ronald Lovan. Mary and Ron were married in Windsor on July 8, 1950. On their honeymoon in St. Louis, they attended a St. Louis Browns baseball game and dined and danced on a paddle-wheeler on the Mississippi River. Their first child, Teresa Gayle, was born in San Rafael, Calif., on August 15, 1952 while Ron was serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. In keeping with Ron’s love of baseball and Mary’s devotion to Ron, she would have the daily baseball scores ready to share with Ron every evening.

Upon Ron’s discharge from the U.S. Air Force, they returned from Tacoma, Wash., to their home in Windsor. On March 6, 1955, their second child, Gary Eugene, was born. While working as a salesman for the Singer Sewing Machine company, Ron gave Mary the machine that she used for the rest of her life to share her love of sewing with her family and friends.

Ron and Mary moved to Sedalia, Mo., in 1956 where their third child, Susan Elaine, was born on April 25, 1961. During the following ten years they raised their family in an atmosphere of faith, love and food. Mary’s gift for cooking was shared not only with her family but with many others over the years. She passed along her love of baking and many of those recipes have become known as comfort foods for family and friends alike. In 1995, Mary won the trophy for best cookie baker in the whole entire Brazos Valley.

In 1971, Ron and Mary moved to Bryan, where she was a member of First United Methodist Church in Bryan for more than 38 years and was a member of the Neighborly Sunday School Class, the Morning Bible/Mission Study and the United Methodist Women. She was also a Howdy Buddy, and a member of the Red Hat Society and enjoyed playing Bingo and making crafts at Waldenbrooke Estates where she and Ron lived. Mary was known far and wide for her hugs, smiles and cookies. Most importantly, she adored and doted on her grandchildren who affectionately called her “Mimi.”

Survivors include her husband of more than 58 years, Ronald Lovan; two daughters and sons-in-law, Teresa and Russ Gabbert of Kansas City, Mo., Susan and David O’Neal of Bryan and Gary and Krys Lovan of Battle Ground, Wash.; grandchildren, Erin Van Cleave, Adriane LaCaze and Caitlyn Gabbert, all of Kansas City, Brandon Lovan of Edwards, Colo., Garrett Lovan of Bryan, Erin O’Neal of Beaumont, Texas, Dustin O’Neal of Houston and Lindsey, Austin and Mackenzie O’Neal of Bryan; great-grandchildren, Brenna Van Cleave, Emma and Jackson Humplik and Grace and Josie O’Neal; three sisters, Ann Dial of Jacksonville, Fla., Doris Hale of Baton Rouge, La., and Dorothy Alexander and husband, Dwight, of Clinton, Mo.; sister-in-law and best friend, Linda Marchbanks and husband, Bill, and their children Scott and Valerie and families; and by many other nieces, nephews and friends, whom she adored.

In celebration of Mary’s life, please join family members in wearing colorful attire at her service. She always loved the bright colors of spring. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the many people who cared for her during her last months. Our family is at peace in knowing that our mom is in a happy place in the arms of her Lord.