Obituary - Mary Jane (Songer) Riley


"… a beautiful example of a life well lived. "

Mary Jane Riley, 92, better known as "Jerry" (Buchholz) Riley died at her home at Westminster Village in Terre Haute on Thursday, October 20, 2011 after a long illness. Born on April 28, 1919 in Kokomo, Indiana, she was the daughter of Arthur Songer and Blanche Vaughn Songer of Veedersburg, Indiana.

After high school she graduated from the Terre Haute Business College and worked in Chicago a short time before marrying Lawrence Calvin Buchholz of Terre Haute. They lived in Youngtown, Indiana and both retired from Pfizer, Inc. in Terre Haute. Long time snow birds, Jerry and Calvin moved to Bayonet Point, Florida soon after their retirement. Jerry was Secretary of the Ponderosa Pine Retirement Community for more than twenty years and Editor of the Park's monthly newsletter.

She was preceded in death by two husbands: Lawrence Calvin Buchholz (1989) and Mayland Patrick Riley (2002); three brothers-in-law and their spouses: Robert & Nadine Buchholz of Bedford, Harry & Sara Buchholz of Lawrence, KS, Paul & Jackie Buchholz of Ft. Wayne; and one sister-in-law Sharon Hardesty of Bloomington. Also preceded in death by two brothers in-law Carl and Arnold Riley; and two sisters-in-law Margaret Pidd & Cecile all who resided in Maine; and a step granddaughter.

She is survived by a brother-in-law, Michael Hardesty, of Bloomington and one sister-in-law Kathleen Rockwell of Athens, ME; three nieces Sherrie Floyd of Huntertown, Terri Souers of Ft. Wayne, and Janice Cain of Bedford; four nephews, Harry Buchholz Jr. and Dennis Buchholz of Lawrence, Kansas, Russell Buchholz of Water Valley, MS, and Sean Hardesty of Bloomington; eight great nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews; two step sons, Timothy Riley of Clinton, ME and Thomas Riley of Mayfield, KY; one step daughter Kathy Montminy of Bar Harbor, ME; five step grand children and one great step granddaughter. There are eight nieces and nephews from her second marriage.

She was a member of the Oregon Baptist Church and was a Past Matron of the Pimento Chapter #516, Order of the Eastern Star. In 1968 she was appointed to a 3-year term as Grand Representative to the Rhode Island Grand Chapter in Indiana. She served as District Deputy of District #8, Indiana Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star for Sister Vivian Mclntosh, PGM and Brother Ira Smyrl, PGP in 1972-73. She often said she was the luckiest woman alive and God had blessed her beyond measure.

She had two wonderful marriages. These two marriages brought her two amazing families who she loved without limit. God also blessed her journey through life with many loyal, long-time friends. "As an only child, when I found a friend I held on to them dearly", she used to say. Her generous hospitality and loving kindness to all she met was a wonderful example of a life well lived.

Visitation will be Monday October 24, 2011 from 4:00 until 8:00 PM in DeBaun Springhill Chapel, 85 E. Springhill Dr. with a Order of Eastern Star memorial service at 7:00 PM conducted by the Pimento Chapter #516 OES. Funeral services will be Tuesday October 25, 2011 at 10:30 AM in the funeral home with Pastor Fred Harrison officiating. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park.

Obituary courtesy of DeBaun Funeral Homes.