In Memory

Mary Ann Finney (Rehm)

Mary Ann Finney (Rehm)

The following words of tribute were offered by Mary Ann's daughter, Becky Rehm Dutton:

Today, January 23, 2017, my beautiful best friend and mommy, Mary Ann Rehm suddenly and very unexpectedly went home to be with Jesus.

We find ourselves in a state of disbelief. There is never a way to prepare for the depth of loss and grief, and so here we find ourselves thrown smack dab in the middle of it regardless of whether we want it or not. Tears that continue to flow...who knew I had so many tears inside me. I honestly can't stop them. I find myself more moment.. one more more mommy cheer of, "Becky, you are doing great! You can do this!" And I find myself wanting to be pinched out of the weird dream. I find myself wanting a do over. But I spent time with her. She passed away in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. So, when we arrived she had already been gone. I held her precious hand. I kissed her forehead. I laid my head on her mommy heart one more time and wept. I know she is gone. No do over. Just one more breath. One more step forward.

We covet your prayers, especially for her grandchildren who were so close to her and for whom she was such a daily part of their lives: Spencer P. Dutton, Hannah and Tyus.

And we pray for each of you as we know her leaving has left places of loss and sorrow in your lives as well. May you be comforted and  surrounded by love.  You were so dear to my mother who was all about relationship! In fact, her word for the year was "Gather".  I know she was absolutely content to be here with us all....but I also know, because she told us all the time, "I'm so ready to be with Jesus in Heaven! I am so excited to go to Heaven! And when I go DON'T cry one tear for me. Cry for  yourself if you must...but not for me. " So, the reality is, as I sit in my loss and pain, and as I touched my mother's physical body for the last time earlier today I was also vibrantly aware of the truth that in that moment she was standing *bowing most likely* in the presence of God and his son Jesus Christ. That what was once unknown was now completely known to her. My momma knows if indeed heaven is for real! And I believe it is. I know there are many if you for whom she has prayed her heart out for in the wee moments of the morning...that you would relinquish your life to Jesus Christ and choose the love of Jesus Christ to be at the center of your life. She would talk to me about her heart's desire to spend eternity with you in God's presence. I know some of you still need those prayers, so guess what...I'm taking up momma's mantle...and hopefully join with her prayers to pray you into the Kingdom of God. She's there and believe me when I tell you that I'm sure hers will be one of the first smiling faces to greet you when you arrive. So rejoice! Though planet earth has lost a HUGE giving, loving, compassionate, best listener ever, wise woman and prayer warrior...heaven has gained a most precious spirit.

Amen? Amen!!

The following was a February 13, 2017 Facebook post by Russ:

Mary Ann's bedrock principles as shared by her son Jeremiah Rehm. Between Mary Ann and me, these were not principles. They were and are daily habits. We didn't believe in these ideals. We were and are these ideals. These truths were and are the beat of our hearts and the breath of our lungs.

1. Be a team player, not a game player

2. Listen to the Red Flags and trust your instincts

3. You're not going to like everyone but treat everybody with respect

4. Set clear boundaries and don't be co-dependent

5. Likewise, honor other people's boundaries

6. Know who you are and be confident in yourself

7. Don't be judgmental - love unconditionally

8. Never make assumptions, always clarify

9. Never say or do anything that isn’t defendable and justifiable,

not only to others, but more importantly, to yourself

10. And finally, never (ever, ever, ever) compromise your bedrock principles

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01/25/17 12:07 PM #1    

Janice Schauss (Fraley)

My heart hurts for Mary Ann's family and for dear Russ.  I can only begin to imagine your personal loss.  Mary Ann had a beautiful heart, deep, caring, encompassing.  Everyone was a friend.  Her lovely crafts remain with you, as do memories, and yet, the physical ache reaches into the emptiness and will linger.  Blessings and prayers to all.  Jan (Schauss) Fraley

01/25/17 12:22 PM #2    

Barbara Dewar (Daniels)

I am so sorry for your loss, for it is great and will be felt by many. Cherish your memories and she will always be with you! 


01/25/17 12:28 PM #3    

Ginger Mitchell (Wedin)

What a moving and wonderful tribute from Becky.  While her Mom has passed from this life into eternal life, it is obvious that her life and way of living continues on in her children and grandchildren.  What a reminder that relationships matter, how we live our lives matters; Mary Ann's was truly a life well-lived.  We will be remembering Russ and the family and supporting them in prayer.  One of life's biggest changes has just happened; may our Lord who never changes provide the peace that passes all understanding.  We love you Russ and our hearts go out to you in sympathy.  

01/25/17 01:51 PM #4    

Claudia Wanamaker (Aldrich)

Dear Russ and family,

My heart aches for you at losing such a darling, sweet lady as Mary Ann always was.  I wish you all much strength, and I will remember you in my prayers and positive thoughts.

01/25/17 03:04 PM #5    

Joe Boyd

I'm at a loss.  Two weeks ago we were sitting together, my wife Ilona, Mary Ann and Russ in their living room, catching up, showing pictures, enjoying each others' company.  That event makes this news all the more shocking to me.  We all saw it coming when we lost Wanda; there was a rapid decline and we knew her time was limited.  But what a shock to just wake up one morning, thinking all was normal, then have to deal with the reality of this type of loss.  It makes me look around at my own family and friends and realize again that we all have more yesterdays than tomorrows, that (cliche that it might be) every day is a gift.  When I think of Mary Ann, words like "joy" and "love" easily come to mind, also "enthusiasm" and "tolerance."  That last quality is so meaningful to me, because I see it so rarely in all of us.  I know I have to call Russ today because I promised in a text I would, but I keep choking up, even as I type this.  

Over the years, Mary Ann kept "encouraging" (a more cynical description would be 'nagging') me to write a book about my observations and personal experiences, since she found them hilarious.  "You write that book, I'll be the first to buy it, then I want you to autograph it," she would say over and over again, until I actually felt guilty for not doing it.  If I ever do write anything, I will dedicate it to her.

This is so inadequte, but I don't know what else to write.  She and Russ both encouraged me when I was struggling with my daughter; they supported me as my wife, Wanda's health deteriorated; and they rejoiced with me when they graciously opened their home to Ilona and me when I remarried.  Knowing both of them has been an honor, a privilege, and a blessing.            

01/25/17 10:43 PM #6    

Ray Eads

Life is Precious, Sweet and Short. This immutable truth is forced upon us again with the passing of our beloved classmate Mary Ann Rehm. There is little that can console us but in our grief we are reminded to love and love deeply. Those who knew Russ and Mary Ann saw how powerfully they loved each other. Prayers for Russ and family. Mary Ann will be missed by all. 

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