Mary Louise Bymers-Van Loon was born on May 18, 1922 in Onalaska, WI to John and Leila Bymers. Mary went home to be with the Lord Jesus, her Messiah, while listening to Handel's Messiah, on December 21, 2022 at the age of 100. Mary grew up in Onalaska, WI where she attended and graduated from Onalaska High School in 1940. After high school she attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. Following college she attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. Mary married Norman Van Loon on September 12, 2009 in Houston, MN.
Mary decided to follow Christ at the young age of five. This decision guided her the rest of her life. God took Mary across the world from Ezel, KY teaching Bible and mentoring the students that lived there to Durban and Piet Retief, South Africa where she spent time learning Zulu and teaching the children there English and other life skills. In addition to these adventures, Mary taught Bible to intermediate students in the public schools of Indianapolis, IN, was Director of Christian Education of the First United Presbyterian Church in Seattle, WA, and spent many years teaching history and Bible in Lansing, IL. Mary saved letters from students and others that she had an impact on their lives over the years. One common thread in these letters were phrases like "I shall never forget our fellowship and prayers together with Christ" and "I'm sure I know more about the Lord than I knew before because of the Bible teaching I received from you."
Teaching was not Mary's strongest asset though, prayer was. Many people can claim that Mary was praying for them "without ceasing" as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructed. Due to the progression of dementia, the last seven months of Mary's life here on earth were spent in Country Meadows Memory Care in Mason City, IA where Mary had her own special ministry. While at times she did not know how old she was, or who the family visiting her were, she would pray with those helping her morning and evening. While her mind was not what most considered "right" her heart for God came shining through, leaving a testimony that cannot be beat.
Mary was preceded in death by her siblings Ruth Vanderlin, Beatrice Van Loon, and Robert Bymers. She is survived by her husband, Norman; step-children Kenneth (Sandra) Van Loon, Timothy (Rita) Van Loon, Ronald (Cindi) Van Loon, and Kimberly Van Loon; step- grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. A special thank you to Rebecca Van Loon for her loving watchful care over Mary while at Country Meadow Place in Mason City Iowa. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to:
Bethany Free Church, 301 S. Ellsworth St, Houston, MN 55943
Country Meadows Memory Care, www.jaybirdseniorliving.com
Lane County Youth For Christ, www.LCYFC.org
The Evangelical Mission Alliance, www.team.org;