Cover photo for Mary Ellen Himmelein's Obituary
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Mary Ellen Himmelein

Mary Ellen passed away peacefully Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

She was born in Kalamazoo on July 24, 1935, the fourth daughter of five to Ray and Catherine (Neeson) Blanchard. The family moved to the Otsego School District in 1938, she started kindergarten in 1940. There was only one bus then and she was the first kindergartener to be in class all day, city children went half days. She became a cheerleader in high school and graduated in 1953.

After high school she worked at the Upjohn Company and in 1954 she met Dean Himmelein. They married June 11, 1955 in Otsego. They moved to Plainwell in 1958 and bought and started several businesses. The Garden Hotel, a construction business, they built Two Cities Motel on M-89, A-1 Pools, Corky’s Drive-In in Allegan, Trampoline and Go Kart track at Pine Lake and clothing stores in Allegan and Centreville.

Throughout the years she also opened her home to many who needed a place to live. She treated them as though they were her own. She was their teacher, mentor and second mom. She taught them everything she knew, especially history and of course put them all to work.

In her free time Mary Ellen enjoyed writing short stories and poetry and her “Count Your Blessings” poem was published in 2003. She also enjoyed playing the piano, writing songs and reading the Bible.

Surviving are her sister, Rosemary Berry of Kalamazoo; her children, Rick Himmelein of Martin, William (Gretchen) Himmelein of Plainwell and Sheryl Willis of Otsego; grandchildren, Jennifer Himmelein of Paw Paw, Melissa Mclemore of Paw Paw, Erica Himmelein of Paw Paw, Erin, Paul, Katie and Autumn Himmelein of Plainwell; great-grandchildren, Alexia, Baylee, Mayson, Hannah, Jacob Kaleb, Dexter and Westen.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dean; stillborn son; mother and father and sisters, Dorothy Kisinger, Betty Shaff and Esther Zimmerman.

According to her wishes cremation has taken place.

Burial of ashes will take place at Oakwood Cemetery in Allegan.

On September 23, 2018 a memorial gathering will be held at the Old Plank Road Restaurant in Plainwell from 1-4 P.M.

Contributions in memory of Mary Ellen may be made to the

Wings of Hope Hospice of Allegan.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Condolence Messages

Terry and Lori Steele

September 14, 2018 at 5:05 pm

Bill,Sheryl,Rick and family’s,

Sorry to hear of your loss. We are thinking and praying for all of you at that this time of the loss of your Mom.

Lori and Terry


Leonard & Natalie Witt

September 14, 2018 at 11:30 pm

You are all in our thoughts!


Linda McCormick

September 15, 2018 at 12:23 am

Rick, Bill & Sheryl I am so sorry for your loss my heart aches for you. I know your mother was a wonderful woman & she will b greatly missed. Keeping you all in my prayers


Sabrina Abasse

September 16, 2018 at 12:14 am

My most fond memories were of going down before the reunions and sending out the info. My mom and Grandma May, me and Mary Ellen would all laugh. Her and Aunt May would play the piano and sing. Only time Grandma May was happy and remembered anything. I remember her and Dorothy, Rosemary, Ester, Mary Ellen and my Grandma Irene all laughing and reminiscing about the Blanchard farm. I actuall have 2 pieces of wood that Mary Ellen got from the folks that live there now. We love you all and please feel our arms as they embrace and give comfort in this difficult time. Love Char, Marian and Sabrina.


Jim Harvey

September 16, 2018 at 10:53 am

Bill sorry to hear the passing of your mother jim


Lauri & Bruce Stone

September 16, 2018 at 2:07 pm

Rick, Bill & Shelly,

I am so sad to hear of the passing of your Momma…

Mary Ellen was so Beautiful, caring, humorous, charming, loving, giving, generous and hard working…

I have so many wonderful memories of her and am so blessed to have had her in my life and in my heart.

Keep her close and her memories closer to your heart’s

I love you all with all of my heart…

Lauri Rantz Stone


Lauri Stone

September 16, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Damn auto correct…Sheryl!!!


Jerry and Judy Shumaker

September 16, 2018 at 10:52 pm

To Bill and Family. Please know that you are in our thoughts. Our sympathy is with all of you. We are so very sorry for the loss of your Mom. We were at the nursing home on Tuesday to visit Jerry’s brother and walked past your Mom’s room and she was sitting there sleeping so we did not bother her. She looked very peaceful. We had no idea she would be gone the next day. Awwww. . She was a very nice lady and will be missed by so many. May your special memories help you through the coming weeks and months.


Pat Shumaker

September 17, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Rick, Bill and Cheryl…..So Sorry to hear my dear friend of a few years back has passed. She and I had some wild and fund times together. We had not seen each other in some time, but she always had a special place in my heart. I came to Michigan on the 12th, but was only there 5 days. I would have been to her celebration of life…. Love to you all


Sheryl Foster-Todd

September 18, 2018 at 8:30 am

I am so sorry to here about you’re loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May she RIP!


Ann Bilyeu

September 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Sorry to hear of your loss. Lots of love, hugs and prayers are sent to all of you.


Marcia Jones

September 20, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Sheryl, I am so sorry for your loss. Mothers are a gift and we often shared our love, care and concern for our moms with each other. She is resting peacefully with the angels and our Father. God bless


Christine Burris

September 20, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Sheryl, I’m so sad to hear of your loss. I know how close you were to your mom. Please know I’m thinking of you.


Scott Kenyon

September 20, 2018 at 5:13 pm

Bill and Family: We are so sorry for your loss. You all are in our thoughts and prayers. Sincerely Scott Kenyon and family.


Kelley DePauw-Ayers

September 26, 2018 at 5:37 am

Bill, Rick & Sheryl,

I have many memories of your mom as our parents were good friends for many years. Our mothers spent many times having coffee while us kids played and I will always remember how sweet your mom was and what a good sense of humor she had! One memory that really sticks with me is them coming to our house in their new Thunderbird and thinking how awesome it was! So Sorry for your loss and I will keep you all in my prayers


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