Mary Ann Bluhm “Grandmother” was born October 11, 1937 to Herbert and Helen C. Bryant in the sand hills of Eastern New Mexico outside the community of Lingo. She passed unexpectedly on Good Friday, April 10, at the age of 82, to celebrate Easter for the first time, face to face, with her Risen Savior, Jesus Christ! She was their only daughter and the youngest of four. She grew up in a very primitive life for much of her younger days which led her to be a very hardy woman that handled the rigors of life in stride without complaining or whining. Her family moved to western Kansas when she was young and she graduated from Elkhart High School in Elkhart, KS. From there she attended Eastern New Mexico University where she studied home economics and received a teaching degree. While she was in Portales she was introduced to the love of her life, Dennis, who was stationed at Cannon AFB in Clovis. They married in August 1960 and moved to Dennis’s hometown of Marshfield, WI where she learned a whole new way of life in a climate that was totally different from anything she had ever known. It was here that her oldest son, Tim, was born. She and Dennis then decided to move back to Kansas to be near other family members.
Dennis and Mary Ann made a home in Johnson, KS. While there they welcomed their second son, Brian, and they spent the bulk of their lives here raising their two boys and enjoyed a fulfilling life in this tiny community. Mary Ann began teaching elementary school while she was here and taught over 25 years. She was devoted to training children and invested her life into this work. She and Dennis also devoted their lives to their Savior, Jesus Christ and were instrumental in churches where they served in music and other leadership. She was a lover of music and enjoyed singing and playing the piano and organ. She and Dennis loved attending gospel concerts as well as community theatre events. She believed that the arts were critical to the development of all. Thus she required her sons, who were gifted athletes, to devote a great deal of time to learning instruments and singing.
In the late 80s Mary Ann and Dennis decided to pull up roots from Johnson where they had and have many dear friends, to move to Amarillo, TX. They had desires to start business and be nearer their sons. Amarillo quickly became home. Mary Ann continued to teach, but now in private school. She was widely respected and loved by her students, fellow faculty members, and her church family. In the mid 90s they moved to Abilene for business and family reasons. Again through their desire to serve and bless people, they became members of this community. They were deeply involved in Beltway Park Church, Heritage Baptist Church, and now Harvest Baptist. Each place they went they were deeply devoted to the service of others and their Savior through their church.
It was during their time in Abilene that Mary Ann was able to continue her teaching career, only this time it was even more special. She was the teacher to two of her grandsons, Conagher and Garrison, who would walk to their grandparent’s house to school. She would soon add 7 other children who would be a part of her “cottage” school. These children all did and to this day call her “Grandmother”. All of these children thrived in their high school days. One was even the Valedictorian of Wylie HS a few years ago. Mary Ann invested in children, from early in her days until her last breath. She loved seeing things grow, whether people, animals, plants, etc. She loved life and was so grateful for the goodness of God to her.
Even in her elderly years she continued to devote herself to her community, both in her church, her family, the Jim Ned Schools, and the Buffalo Gap senior center. She had an incredible number of friends not only here but throughout her history. She was intent on growing her relationship with her Lord and made that a focus of her life until she passed. She loved her people at “the center” in Buffalo Gap and also at her church at Harvest Baptist. Even though she lived with bodily pain, she was full of life and encouragement. Her doctors and caretakers were like family to her and she was loved throughout the community.
Mary Ann’s entire life was focused on loving and investing. She loved deeply and invested deeply into people, literally from all over the world. The impact of her life will not be seen this side of Heaven as the ripple effects of her life go beyond knowledge.
Mary Ann was preceded in death by her husband, Dennis, her mother and father, three brothers, Sid, H.L. , and Joe and sister-in-law, Isabel. She is survived by her sons, Tim and his wife, Kerri Bluhm of Abilene, TX and Brian and his wife, Sherry Bluhm of Buffalo Gap, TX; grandchildren, Elisha and husband, Lafe Sargent, Tiffany Smith, Seth and wife, Haley Bluhm and Zach and wife, Kalli Bluhm; Conagher Bluhm, Garrison and wife, Ché Bluhm, Lincoln Bluhm, and McKenna Bluhm and seven great grandchildren, along with many family and friends who were very important to her.
The Private funeral service is to be held at 10 am Thursday, April 16, 2020 at Beltway Park Church with Pastor David McQueen and Pastor Roy Meksch officiating. Friends and family are invited to join the service live at https://livestream.com/beltway/events/2057286 You may log on 15 minutes prior to that and also afterwards to view photos from Mary Ann’s life. The family would also like to invite local friends to join us for the interment at Elmwood Memorial Park immediately following the service at around 11:45. Please remain in your cars and tune in to FM 105.7 to listen to the graveside ceremony.
The family is grateful for the years of care for Mary Ann from the folks at Harvest Baptist Church, Many from the Abilene Medical Community, The Senior Citizen folks in Buffalo Gap, the staff and people of Beltway Park and too many others to name. In lieu of flowers please make memorial gifts in her name to Harvest Baptist Church at 1389 Vine St in Abilene, TX 79602 or to the Buffalo Gap Senior Center at 709 Litel St, Buffalo Gap, TX 79508.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family through the obituary link at www.elmwoodfuneral.com