Obituary: Mary Ann Neil, 69, Mt. Pleasant, formerly of Ludington.

April 4, 2016
Mary Ann Neil

Mary Ann Neil

Mary Ann Neil, 69, of Mt. Pleasant died unexpectedly on Thursday, March 31, 2016 in Frankenmuth, Michigan doing what she most enjoyed—spending quality time with her family.  Formerly of Ludington, Mary Ann moved to Mt. Pleasant in 2012 to live with her daughter.

Mary Ann was born August 6, 1946 in Ludington, the first child of William and Mary Neil. Mary Ann, a 1965 graduate of Ludington High School, attended Northwestern Community College earning a degree in licensed practical nursing, and later earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Grand Valley State University. She was employed as a counselor at Community Mental Health of Mason County and later worked as a substitute teacher in Mason and Lake counties.

During her marriage to Roger Barnard, the loves of her life were born—Sara Nicole and Jarrett Neil Barnard.  Mary Ann was a stay-at-home mom whose greatest joy were her children.  Despite many challenges, she found happiness in her family and remained positive all of her life.  Because of her compassionate and empathetic nature, she touched others in positive ways, especially the friends of her children, who often called her Mom.  She was gentle, kindhearted, and took great pleasure in her relationships with others—always offering a “listening ear’” to those in need.

“God’s most precious work of art,” it has been said, “is the love of a grandmother for her grandchildren.”  That was especially true of Mary Ann’s love for granddaughter, Marcilyn Jarrett Rose, whom she cherished with all of her heart.  After her birth, Mary Ann found a renewed joy in life that had been missing following the loss of her son, Jarrett.  Grandma and Marcilyn were constant companions who shared mutual pleasures in weekly “paint days,” Saturday cartoons, and late night snacking.

Mary Ann was a creative person whose artistic abilities spilled over into painting, pottery, and ceramics. She loved to read and she was also a “fashionista” who loved jewelry and shopping.  She enjoyed nature and became an avid bird watcher. Earlier in life, Mary Ann loved camping, hiking, and boating—especially during her years while living near Hamlin Lake.  Mary Ann was a devoted animal lover especially enjoying her Afghan hounds. She was a life-long Democrat. Mary Ann, who was baptized and raised in Bethany Lutheran Church, had a love of God that sustained her throughout her life.

Mary Ann is survived by daughter Sara; granddaughter Marcilyn; four siblings and their spouses: Billie and Harry Plouff of Mt. Pleasant; Dan and Julie Neil, Diann and Bob Engblade of Ludington; Marcia and Jim Schulte of Scottville.

She had a special relationship with her various caregivers over the years, including Aleisha Hernandez, Nicole Calkins, and sister-in-law Lois Lemcke.  She is survived by uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends each with a special place in her heart. Preceding her in death were her son Jarrett, parents William and Mary Neil; sister-in-law Stephanie Neil; grandmother Bertha Neil; grandparents Glenn Day and Mary Bevington.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 8, at Bethany Lutheran Church of Ludington with Pastor William Huether officiating. Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. for one hour prior to the service and, afterward, there will be a luncheon held in the church fellowship hall. Those who wish to remember Mary Ann with a memorial contribution are asked to consider her daughter and granddaughter.  Please visit Mary Ann’s personal memory page at to leave a tribute of Mary Ann for her family or to light a candle in her memory. Funeral arrangements are being cared for by Wyman Funeral & Cremation Services in Scottville.

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