Obituary: Mary V. Wilson, 89, of Ludington, formerly of Scottville. 

May 5, 2021

Mary Wilson

Obituary: Mary V. Wilson, 89, of Ludington, formerly of Scottville. 

August 10, 1931 – May 1, 2021

Mary Venus Wilson, age 89, of Ludington, passed away on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at Sherman Oaks Manor surrounded by her loving family.   She was a true “Okie,”, born and raised in Oklahoma City, Okla. in 1931.  She was swept off her feet in 1950 when she met George F Wilson, who was in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Tinker AFB.  On June 22, 1951 they were married in Oklahoma, and she and Big George returned to his adopted hometown of Scottville.   In Scottville they raised 6 wonderful children, and lived happily ever after.  

As a new “Clown Wife” of BG, she followed the Scottville Band Clown near and far, and organized the “Better Half” group of wives & kids that followed the Band in costume at the Scottville Harvest Festival for many years.  She befriended new Clown Wives, and taught them the ways & means of the Band.  She particularly hung out with Jeannie, Dorothy, Ilene and Marilyn, and they had a lot of fun while their husbands did their duty on the street.   She was lovingly known as Ma Wilson by the Clowns of Scottville.  

As a mom of the “Lower East Side” of Scottville, she helped corral the Scottville kids, fed them often, arranged for overnights, and was known to provide a little “parental guidance” to any kid who was getting out of hand.    She became known as “Ma” to all the kids.  The Wilson Ranch was always noisy with kids playing baseball and other antics in the Back 40.   

When she became a grandma in 1979, Laurie and Kelsey named her “Grandma Shrimp” aka Shrimpy or Shrimp.  Grandma Shrimp loved her grandkids, and the great grandkids came along, her love for the little ones expanded.  As the grandkids grew, she kept busy sewing outfits and Halloween costumes for all her grandkids.  She loved seeing them, getting pictures, and even those precious FaceTime visits.  

Mary was well known as an amazing seamstress, and she kept her kids in custom made clothes. She also fabricated various colorful costumes for her Clown Family, and did tailoring for Schulte & Thompson’s Mens Store in Scottville for many years. She later worked at Nichols Drug Store in Scottville.

Mary is survived by children Don and Mary Margaret Klemm and family Laurie, Todd, Jack and Addie Schipper of Ludington and Carrie Klemm of Grandville, Mich.; Kelley and Sunny Wilson of Lancaster, Cali. and family Jennica, Christopher, Elia, Mave, and Daelin Seguine of Edmond, Okla., Justin Wilson of Rancho Cucamonga, Cali. and Joseph Wilson of Lancaster, Cali.; Theresa and John Pelizzari of Traverse City, and family Kelsey, Matt, Rory, Declan, and Teagan Hall of Bedford Hills, NY, Forey Erickson of Traverse City, Jimmy Pelizzari of Detroit, and David Pelizzari of Indianapolis; George, Ellen Bristol, and Grady Wilson of Belmont; Harvey and Debbie Walters Wilson of Ada, and family Noah Tensen of Grand Rapids, Remy Wilson and Rylee, and Baylee Walters of Ada.  

Mary was preceded in death by her parents Harvey Green and Margaret Kelley; husband of 60 years Big George; son Patrick;  brothers Dick, Stanley, Pat, Gene, Fr Stephen, and Mike Kelley; sisters Delores and Zelma.  

Cremation has taken place and final interment will be at Brookside Cemetery next to her beloved Big George and Pat.   A celebration of life will be held later in the summer.   Memorial contributions in memory of Mary may be directed to the family of the Scottville Clown Band Raymond F. Schulte Memorial Music Scholarship Fund, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454.    

Grandma Shrimp requested that everyone wear masks to get through the COVID pandemic.  

Arrangements have been entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington, www.oakgroveludington.com.

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