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Mary A. Smyser

September 15, 1943 - September 4, 2021

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 321 W. South Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. Mary will be laid to rest at Mt. Ever Rest Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, Mary has requested contributions go to The Animal Rescue Project-Kalamazoo or the Kalamazoo Literacy Council.

Mary A. Smyser passed away peacefully at Rose Arbor on Saturday, September 4, 2021, after a short illness. Mary was born September 15, 1943, in Saginaw, Michigan, to William D. and Evelyn B. Smyser. Mary’s early years were spent in Merrill, Michigan, until her father returned from service in World War II. The family then moved to Morgantown, West Virginia, for several years before coming to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she would spend most of her life with her small but close-knit family. Mary attended Kalamazoo Central High School then moved on to Western Michigan University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. Mary was an active and long-time member of First Presbyterian Church serving as a greeter, a deacon, a member of the Presby Paws group, and a youth mission trip chaperone. Mary was employed by the legal firm of Early, Lennon, Bartosiewicz, PLC, for nearly 30 years. Mary was an accomplished and talented cook and baker, making the best pies in town as well as creating and sharing trays of beautifully decorated holiday themed cookies with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. She was an avid reader and gardener. She loved animals, including every dog she ever met, but especially her beloved friends Rex, Teddy, Max, Annie and Flash and her canine nephews, Otis and Dudley.  After retirement, Mary volunteered in the community, serving at Lending Hands, Guardian Finance and Advocacy Services, and the Animal Rescue Project. She was most proud of her volunteer work as a reading tutor at the Kalamazoo Literacy Council through First Presbyterian Church. At each volunteer experience Mary made a difference in the lives of others while also making many friends. She greeted everyone she met with a smile and a kind word and could be counted on to find the bright side of any situation. Mary loved a good church bazaar or pot-luck, a great old movie, watching and feeding birds in her yard, growing flowers and vegetables, going to the farmer’s market, and time spent with family and friends. Mary was preceded in death by her parents and leaves behind her brother William (Kathy) Smyser; and her lifelong friend, Linda Rowgo; several cousins, and many friends, new and old.