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Mary Belle Heineman

Mary Belle Heineman

Feb. 20, 1928 -- April 8, 2006

In Memoriam

We all loved Mary. She was a Grande Lady!

She was a kick! I loved her so much.

She loved to make people laugh and to make sure they were happy.

Mary loved everybody. She's no doubt organizing a Welcoming Committee!

She treated me like I was one of her own.

Mary lived each day with grace, humor and dignity.

Mary's probably organizing the Angels!

I'm sure she's already running the Community Center up there!

She's planning a party and baking cookies!

She was always nice to me.

Mary was one of a kind! Not one in a million, but one of a kind!

She always liked the element of surprise.

She's no longer in pain.

She's no longer suffering.

The above responses were among those expressed by friends of Mary Belle Heineman, 78, upon hearing that she had died peacefully in her sleep on April 8, 2006 at Linda Vista Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Facility in Ashland.

When you've lived 77 years, there's nothing short about your life, she wrote last year when asked to provide a brief bio about her self upon moving into Glenwood Mobile Home Park on South Pacific Highway.

Here's how her beginning was told to her, and how she told it to others, though in later years, she said she had some doubts. Seventy-some years ago her parents, Carl and Hattie, went looking for another child. The fact that they had already reared four children to their late teens did not detour them from wanting more. One day while walking along a lovely creek her mother and father lifted up a rock, and there they found a beautiful baby girl. Taking her home, they wished they could find another baby as a playmate to their beautiful daughter.

About a year later, on Feb. 20, 1928, they went back to that same creek near Columbus, Ohio and there on a rock sat a baby girl with a can of worms, a fishing pole, a frog gig, and a net. They took her home and called her Mary Belle. And so began her life on a 30-acre farm in Delaware, Ohio. From the beginning, Mary was the mischief maker even though her mother always told her she had eyes in the back of her head, and she believed that for years.

Then came WWII. She was 15 years old, and she quit school and went to work in a factory making bombs. One of her older sisters worked there, also her father. A year later, all of her sisters were married. The sister that is a year older than her married a soldier and traveled all over the country with him. Oh, how she wished she could be like her. Everyone knows the grass is greener on the other side of the road. So she fell in love with her sister's brother-in-law, De Roy Russell Silveous, and they got married. Three months later he was overseas in France. She was still working, married and pregnant. The grass wasn't so green after all. At 21 years old, she was the mother of three babies, and you can bet she wasn't looking under any more rocks.

Her soldier husband came home for good from the War and as two strangers they started life together on a 300-acre farm. It had an 11-room house with outside plumbing, coal stove and a water bucket that was always dry. They milked 19 head of cattle morning and night, and also had chickens, pigs and a slew of neighbor kids. She was not a farmer's wife but a full-fledged farmer for 22 years. It made working in a war plant and living at home look like a walk in the park. In those 22 years, she also went to beauty school, got a license and had her own shop for 11 years. She also had another child. She has two sons, De Roy and Carl, and two daughters, Rebecca and Elin. When her youngest was eight, Mary took her children, her cosmetology license, a two-dollar bill, and walked away.

Moving on, she re-married after a year and a half. Her husband, Terry Heineman, worked in a glass factory in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. They made Coke bottles. She went on with her beauty work, also working part-time at the YMCA. One day she fell on wet steps and the injuries required her to have many back and neck surgeries over 10 years. Thirteen years later, with the weather becoming harder to endure, she and her husband headed west. The youngest child was a junior at Ohio State University, and the older three were all well established.

Mary and her husband put down roots in Phoenix, Arizona. They bought a Pizza Parlor and had it for 15 years. In that time, they also owned a delivery service for Frito Lay, a custom frame shop, and a liquor bar. They lived in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Sun City. After 22 years, she and Terry separated and remained friends.

Mary lived six years in a retirement park, still doing hair. Then, she finally retired and moved to Cordes Lakes, Arizona. She was there for seven years until her health hit the bottom rung of the ladder, and she fell off. Her daughter Elin and her husband Allen moved her to Ashland, Oregon in May, 2004. She had heart surgery and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, and they nursed her back to as healthy as she was ever likely to be. In September of 2004, while driving through Glenwood Mobile Home Park, she saw a home for sale and bought it. She moved in on Dec. 5th of 2004.

From then until her death April 8, 2006, she continued to live a full, robust life. She would hope that you enjoyed her trip down memory lane. She said she was happy, she quit wishing, and she quit looking under rocks. In her spare time she liked to sew, knit and crochet. She also liked to read, and write poetry. And, when the spirit moved her, she liked to garden a little, too! Mary was a deeply admired woman and beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a fabulous hostess, cook, baker, seamstress, artist, comedian and actress, recently putting on the one-woman skit Poor Planning: The Tale of the Unemployed Bricklayer. Mary loved Christmas, nature and sports, and she was kind to all animals and to all people. She will be deeply missed.

Mary Belle Heineman is survived by two sons: De Roy Russell Silveous and his wife Kathy of Calimesa, Ca. and Carl Axel Silveous and his wife Sharon of Florence, Ky. and by two daughters Rebecca Belle Kiernan and her husband Bill of Marengo, Ohio and Elin Victoria Silveous and her husband Allen Douma of Ashland.

Survivors also include a sister Lura Jane Silveous of Delaware, Ohio one granddaughter, Marie Moran of Marion, Ohio, two grandsons, Michael Silveous and Matt Silveous of California, and 5 great grandchildren Nicholas Moran, Kenny Helka, Jessica Moran and Autumn Moran of Ohio, and Michael Silveous of California, and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by a grandson Jason Silveous, her parents, three sisters, and a brother.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you plant a bulb, a bush or a tree in the location of your choice -- a yard, a park, a roadside. Or, that you hang a Christmas ornament in memory of our Mother this year. For those wishing to make a memorial contribution, the family asks that you do so to the community organization of your preference.

Mary Belle Heineman