April 6, 1923 – February 6, 2018, was born in Manistee Michigan to Arthur and Mary Tobey, the first of five daughters and one son. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Marvin, sister Kathryn Tobey, sister Charlotte McDaniel, daughter-in-law Carol Wilson, and son Keith Tobey Wilson. She is survived by brother, Robert Tobey (Ruth), Barbara Ostler (Jim) and Jane Synnestvedt. Mary graduated from Watkins Glen High School and Michigan State University.
Singing in the church choir at Central Methodist in Lansing, she met a wonderful tenor, Marvin Wilson. They exchanged vows on June 10, 1947 and were married for 63 until Marvin’s death in 2011. Throughout their married life, Mary often accompanied Marvin as he sang for weddings and church services.
Mary and Marvin were the parents of five sons. She always said she was proud of all her sons. James Wilson (Carol, 1956-2012), Douglas Wilson (Thomas Reinberg), Robert Wilson (Mary Loukas), Ronald Wilson (Nancy) and Keith Wilson (1955-2014). She loved her grandchildren, Toni Stephens (Mark), Bryan Wilson (Marysol), Ian Wilson (Elizabeth), Amy Wilson, Claire Wilson (Raymond Schaffer), Patrick Hidlay (Elise) and Kerry Hidlay. Mary enjoyed any the time she could spend with her nine great-grandchildren. She cherished her large family and all her nephews and nieces and their children. She loved the opportunity to join with brothers, sisters, sons and daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews at the family cottage in Manistee Michigan. She enjoyed preparations for large family meals and the laughter of children playing games and swimming in Lake Michigan.
Music was always a part of her life. As a teenager she began playing in churches. She often accompanied her sisters who sang or played cello. Mary began her music teaching career in Clare, Michigan. She taught for most of her adult life. She shared her love of music with students in Clawson, Cassopolis and Pontiac School Districts. She ended her career teaching elementary music in the Pontiac School District for 15 years. In addition to teaching children the joys of music, she was a church organist at many Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian churches in Metro Detroit and Cassopolis, being most fond of her 25 years at Waterford Central United Methodist.
Mary kept busy knitting, sewing and quilting. Her sons were never without mittens, caps and sweaters she lovingly knitted for them. She loved to quilt. Her quilts can be found on the beds of all her children and grandchildren. She quilted many wall hangings and banners. The babies of many of her friends were cuddled in baby quilts made by her. Her sewing expertise was often on display at Waterford Central United Methodist. She created many banners that were hung in the church and she made choir robes for children and costumes for dancers and plays.
Mary Wilson leaves behind a legacy of love and kindness. Her memory lives on in the lives of her sons and grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends.
Memorial service Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Waterford Central United Methodist Church, 3882 Highland Rd, Waterford Township, MI 48328.
To continue her legacy, we encourage all her friends, family and acquaintances to donate to the music program at Waterford Central United Methodist Church. Please make your check out to Waterford Central United Methodist Church with Mary Wilson Music Program Fund in the memo line and then mail it to WCUM Church 3882 Highland Rd, Waterford Township, MI 48328.