Mary Rose Alice Esch

At age 89, passed away to eternity with the Lord at Glacier Hills Senior Living Community on June 25, 2018.

Mary was born in Dexter, Michigan on November 5, 1928, the oldest child of John and Mary (Nimsz) Bezzeg.

She was raised in the farming community of Dexter, and married Walter Louis Esch on November 6, 1948 at Calvary Mennonite Church in Pinckney. Mary supported the operations of Barton Hills Village, of which Walter was the superintendent for over 60 years. She participated in a local county extension group.

A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Mary’s love for God and people was evident in her generous and caring nature. She taught her family the importance of extending hospitality and of never being “too busy” to help someone in need. Mary was faithful, gracious, a peacemaker, and a gentle soul, sensitive to God. She loved to sing hymns and songs of praise. Mary shared her practical wisdom and quiet sense of humor with family and friends; and enjoyed gardening, bird-watching, arranging flowers, painting, and embroidery.

Mary is survived by her children Wayne (Debra), David (Jan), John (Joanne), Rosemary, Jean (Duane) Goodnoe, Carolyn Petitjean, Charles (Faye), Donald (Rebecca), James (Jacqueline), and Sandra (Peter) Sparks; a daughter-in-law Faith; her grandchildren Thomas (Rebekah), Annette (Jeffrey) Pikaart, Julie, Michael (Priscilla), Jennifer, Christina (Kevin) Westphal, Kenneth Goodnoe, Stephanie Petitjean, Leland (Elaine) Petitjean, Danielle (Aaron) Oliver, Jeremy, Scott (Kristen), Rachel, Elizabeth, Joshua, and Jessica; granddaughter-in-law Amy Goodnoe; great-grandchildren Abigail, Olivia, Victoria Goodnoe, Andrew Reichstetter, Jackson Goodnoe, Arlo Petitjean, Faye Oliver, Jackson Oliver, and Shaun Oliver; sister Helen Bezzeg; sister-in-law Roma Bezzeg; sisters-in-law Carol Esch and Norma Esch; and brother-in-law John Milam.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Walter, in 2017; her parents John and Mary Bezzeg; brothers John, Michael, and Joseph Bezzeg; adopted brother George Swab; and grandchildren Amy and Timothy Esch, and Donald Goodnoe.

Visitation took place June 29 from from Nie Funeral Home, 3767 W Liberty Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Funeral services took place June 30 from Huron Hills Church, 3150 Glazier Way, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Burial followed at Washtenong Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, due to her heart of compassion for people in need, donations may be made to Heifer International, an organization that seeks to end world poverty through sustainable farming: Heifer International, Attn: Donor Services, P.O. Box 8058, Little Rock, AR 72203.


Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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