Mary Elizabeth Ingersoll Schoenman (March 31, 1930-November 13, 2017)
Mary was born on March 31, 1930 in Minneapolis, MN, the daughter of Ward Hess Ingersoll and Marguerite Tuttle Ingersoll and sister of Marge Ingersoll Gray. She grew up in St. Paul, MN, within a few blocks of the Mississippi River. She shared her early life with a host of animal friends, including Sniffer and Racket, her rescued raccoons and enjoyed biking, skating, baseball, and Girl Scouts. But it was on frequent canoe trips in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota and at the waterfront home built by her great-grandfather in Buffalo, MN that she became a self-professed “water person” while swimming, canoeing, fishing, sailing, and engaging in many other outdoor adventures with her family at Buffalo Lake.
She attended Macalester College in St. Paul from 1947-1951, graduating with a B.S. degree in Elementary Education and a minor in English. Among other college activities, she was a member of the Synchronized Swimming Team.
She married Robert (Bob) Johnson from St. Paul, MN in 1951 and they soon moved to Carlsbad Air Force Base in Ft. Worth, TX. Due to Bob’s career in commercial aviation, the family later made their home in St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN, Long Beach, NY, and Bellevue, WA. They had four children: Brenda in 1952, William (Bill) in 1953, David in 1957, and Deborah (Deb) in 1958. She married Richard (Dick) Schoenman, a Boeing engineer, in 1977 and became step-mom to Dick’s four children: Merrie, Suzanne (Suzie), Rose (Rosie) and Jeff.
Mary taught elementary school (usually third grade) for 30 years, during which time she became a pioneering expert in special education. She was recruited in the early 1960‘s to be one of the founding teachers for a facility expansion at Michael Dowling School for physically disabled children in Minneapolis. She retired from teaching in 1981, but her commitment to excellence in childhood education continued for the rest of her life.
She and Dick converted a summer home on Lopez Island, WA, for full-time living and moved there in the late 1980’s where she served as a mentor, volunteer at the library, member of the Garden Club, and a leader in the Lutheran church. A talented pianist, Mary loved all music, especially singing in the ecumenical choir. She and Dick were honored with the Lopez Spirit Award in 2004 for “giving to the community in extraordinary ways: unselfishly, reliably, lovingly, with tolerance and integrity.” In 2012 She and Dick moved to Wesley Homes, Lea Hill in Auburn, WA and became involved in the community there and at Family of Grace Lutheran Church.
Mary’s life overflowed with warm, generous, fun-loving and contagious energy. She relished dancing, gardening, travel (spending time each year at their condo on Maui as well as on national and international cruises and tours), canoeing, skiing, and hiking, wilderness back-packing, and handicrafts – knitting, sewing, and especially quilting. She loved getting together with family members and friends and they will greatly miss her big hugs, can-do attitude, and strong, adventurous spirit.
Mary passed away on November 13, 2017 after a short illness. She is survived by her husband, Dick, her children and step-children, 13 grandchildren (Alison Johnson; Jennifer Jaspers; Jonathan Allenby; Anna Koendarfer; David, Andy, and Rob Carson; Emily Badgley; Laura Crisp; Alison and Tom Fontaine; Todd and Cassie Schoenman), and 16 great-grandchildren (Eloine and Emma Jaspers; Noah Jr., Vinny, and Cara Koendarfer; Matthew Allenby; Mattea, Ethan, and Samantha Daugherty; Emma, Jack, and James Carson; Daniel and Kathleen Carson; and Jule and Nora Schoenman).
A memorial service and reception celebrating Mary’s life will be held on Friday, December 1st at 2 pm at Family of Grace Lutheran Church, 31317 124th Ave SE, Auburn, WA 98092 (phone: 253- 833-8910). To share a memory of Mary, or to send private condolences, please sign the online guestbook at www.klontzfuneralhome.com. Remembrances in the form of donations should be made to Lutheran World Relief.