Mary Ellen Kohnert, 87, passed away Monday, September 23, 2013, in Ashland, Ore. She was born to the late Carl and Mabel Chapman, October 30, 1925 in Galesburg, Ill. She and her late brother, Jack, were raised in the years of the great depression. During the years Jack was away at College, Mary was introduced to his roommate Arnold Kohnert during weekend visits. Double dates were followed by many letters written back and forth during WWII, in which they fell in love.
Upon Arnold's return from Europe at the end of WWII, Mary and Arnold were married on January 20, 1946 and move to Los Angeles, Calif. This is where she had her three children. Rodger in February 1947, Diana in December 1949, and Curtis in May 1953. In 1955 the family packed up and moved to San Mateo where they raised their three children. Mary led an active family life there. She was an accomplished wife, mother and homemaker. She enjoyed sewing her children's clothes, silk screening the yearly Christmas cards, and was involved in Girl Scouts, the Methodist Youth Fellowship, and the church choir. Having been raised in the flat lands of Illinois, she had a love for the mountains and the nature of California. The family summer vacations were spent backpacking and camping in the high county of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
After many trips traveling though Oregon on I-5 to visit their son, they fell in love with Ashland, Ore. Upon their retirement in 1978, they moved to Ashland where they designed and build their retirement home on a six acre hillside east of town overlooking the mountains to the south. When their home was completed they planted a garden, fruit trees, and a beautiful vineyard, which we have come to know as Pompadour Vineyard. Mary loved the outdoors and being in the field working the vineyard, tucking vines, picking grapes and tending to her flowers and garden were among her favorite things to do. She enjoyed canning her fruits of labor, reading history, attending church, bible study and singing in the choir.
She is survived by her son, Rodger and wife of Corvallis, Ore.; daughter, Diana and husband of San Luis Obispo, Calif.; and son, Curt and wife of Oregon City, Ore.; four granddaughters; one grandson; four great-granddaughters; four great-grandsons. Mary's husband, Arnold, preceded her in death in 2009.
Mary was a caring, loving and passionate person and will be dearly missed by all. She devoted her life to the care and support of her family. Her love of family and the great outdoors were her passion and even though she is gone, her memory and all that she was and lived for will live on in our hearts forever. God bless you, our beloved Mother and grandmother, your family and friends will miss you. As you leave this world and join Arnold, you are in God's care now.
There will be a memorial service honoring Mary's life at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, September 28, 2013 at Grace Lutheran Church in Ashland. In lieu of flowers the family asks that a donation be made in Mary's name to the Sherita Vlach Memorial Fund, a music scholarship fund, at Grace Lutheran Church, 660 Frances Lane, Ashland, OR 97520.