Cover photo for Mary Louise Whitright's Obituary
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1940 Mary 2023

Mary Louise Whitright

August 22, 1940 — November 29, 2023

Mary Louise Whitright, a cherished soul known for her loving heart, passed away peacefully due to natural causes on November 29, 2023, in Kalamazoo surrounded by her loving family.

Mary was born August 22, 1940, to Henry and Doris Freehling. She grew up on her family’s farm, where the seeds of her hardworking nature were sown.

She graduated from Eau Claire High School and continued her education earning a degree and working as a bookkeeper.

On May 16, 1964, she married the love of her life, Richard Lee Whitright. Along the way they had two children, Jim and Joan. Together they lived, loved and worked beside each other on their farm.

Professionally, Mary's career was marked by her unwavering commitment and integrity. She began her journey as a bookkeeper, but many in the community will fondly remember her for her time as the Transportation Supervisor for the Eau Claire School System. Even after her retirement, Mary continued to serve the educational community, driving bus for Dowagiac Union Schools. All this, while she managed to help run Whitright’s Family Farm.

Mary's dedication extended beyond her professional life into her spiritual community at Zion United Church of Christ. Member and at times board member of the church, she also shared her musical talents as a gifted organist.

When her children were younger, Mary loved her time as leader and club coordinator of the Pipestone Beavers 4-H club. Many remember the fun events, the cookies sales that filled up the hallways of her house and her famous pizza and other baked goods she made.

Family was the cornerstone of Mary's world. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Richard L. Whitright, and her son, James "Tiny" Whitright, her sisters, Betty (Walter) Davis, Barbara (Jerry) Likes, Margaret (Ron) Churchill, Nancy (James) White and brother James Freehling. Mary's legacy of love and nurturing lives on through her daughter and son in law, Joan and Chris Doty of Kalamazoo, dear friend Pam Skoda and family, sister Hope (Jeff) Sinner, brother David (Becky) Freehling, sister-in-law Georgia (JD) Whitright, along with loving nieces, nephews, aunt, cousins and friends.

A time to celebrate Mary’s life will be held on Friday, December 8, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at Redemption Church (formerly Zion United Church of Christ) at 9134 Black Lake Rd in Eau Claire, Michigan with a time of visitation beginning at noon. An interment will follow in the church cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in care of her family where they will honor her memory by helping others.

As we bid farewell to Mary Louise Whitright, we celebrate a life beautifully lived and a journey completed with grace. Her memory will continue to inspire and guide us, just as her presence enriched every life she touched. Mary's story is one of love, service, and an unassuming strength that will forever be remembered by those who were fortunate enough to know her.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Bowerman Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Eau Claire.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Louise Whitright, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, December 8, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, December 8, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Friday, December 8, 2023

2:00 - 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

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