Mary Elizabeth Dinnan, age 92, of Saline, Michigan formerly of River Rouge, Michigan, Painesville, Ohio, Oak Park, Michigan, Westland, Michigan, and Dexter, Michigan, passed away Thursday, July 9, 2020 at home in Saline with her daughters by her side. Mary was born on September 28, 1927 in Toledo, Ohio to the late George and Genevra Shawley of River Rouge, Michigan.
Mary grew up in River Rouge, Michigan where both her parents were teachers. She graduated from River Rouge High School. She studied Elementary Education with a minor in Fine Arts at the University of Michigan where she met her husband Leo, studying on the GI Bill after WWII. They were married in 1949 and had three daughters, Carol, Anne, and Cathy. Mary taught school until their first child was born, and then returned to teaching for several years when the girls were older.
Always learning and always a teacher, Mary’s first job was as a docent at Greenfield Village while still in high school. Mary was a mentor to many inside and outside her family, especially with her love of flowers and gardening. Her daughters appreciate her for her love of music and beauty, and her gift of hospitality. Her oldest granddaughter attributes her own skills at cooking and gardening to Grandma’s loving tutelage, and the younger two could always count on her encouragement of their artistic and musical pursuits. Mary was always learning new skills and crafts, even mastering the art of basket weaving, which she pursued for many years until arthritis made it just too difficult. A certified Master Gardener, Mary was a member of the Lily and Rose Societies, and the Saline Stone and Thistle Garden Club.
Mary was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Wayne, Michigan for many years and showed her love for the Lord through acts of service as a children’s Sunday School teacher, choir member and sometime soloist but her real passion was serving on the Missions Committee. She sewed dresses for a missionary friend in Africa, hosted missionaries in their home, and even helped maintain an apartment the church had for missionaries home on furlough. It was truly a labor of love.
When Leo retired, they moved to Saline to be closer to two of their daughters and attended Huron Hills Church in Ann Arbor. After Leo died, Mary moved to the Cedars of Dexter and was active at the United Methodist Church there until suffering a stroke just after Christmas of 2017, when her daughters brought her back to Saline to care for her at home.
Mary is survived by her daughters: Carol Dinnan Callan, Anne Elizabeth Dinnan, Catherine Mary (Joseph) Galura, all of Saline, Michigan; grandchildren: Elizabeth Anne Callan of Saline, Michigan; David Alexander Galura of Arlington, Virginia, and Genevra Isabel Galura of Chicago, Illinois; great-grandchildren: Ethan Leo Callan-Weaver and Emmeline Elizabeth Callan-Weaver. Also survived by sister, Martha Shawley (Otto) Kalmbach of Cadilac, Michigan.
Due to COVID 19 risks, there will be no live visitation funeral service, however, a Family Farewell Service will be live-streamed on the Nie Funeral Home Facebook page, on Monday, July 13, 2020 at 11:00 am. Interment will take place privately at Forest Hill Cemetery, Ann Arbor, MI.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: TEAM.org, or the Music Therapy Program of Arbor Hospice.org