Mary Ann Swanson-Neumann, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, age 89, of Oxford, MI, passed away peacefully surrounded by family Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020. Mary Ann battled Alzheimer’s the last couple years of her life but she never forgot God and her sweet spirit and smile remained until the end.
On Nov. 20, 1931, Mary Ann was born to George Ort and Ethel Donaldson-Ort in Detroit. She attended Mercy High School and had plans to study nursing until she met Benjamin Swanson at a football game and got married. Mary Ann and Ben were married for 48 years and although she was an only child, they raised 11 children together. They lived in Royal Oak, Drayton Plains, and then settled in Oxford for 57 years, spending many winters in Florida after retirement.
She is survived by children, Linda (Eric) Beauman, Ed Swanson, Jeff (Brenda) Swanson, Terri (Mike) Ward, Scott Swanson, Leslie Demers, Julie Banister, Benjamin Swanson Jr., Krissy (Brian) Stoinoff, Andy (Christine) Swanson, 24 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Mary Ann’s legacy will be her years spent lovingly raising her family on 39 Pontiac Street. Although she was not perfect, her children felt like they were blessed with the perfect Mom. She had the gift of making each child feel like they were her favorite and her greatest desire was for her kids to know God and continue to love each other and get along. She opened her heart and home to many other children/people who felt like she was their second mother and there was always an extra seat at her table. She was well known for her generosity, her quick wit, her sense of humor and fun-loving personality. Almost everyone in Oxford knew Mrs. Swanson and she was nicknamed “Candy Grandma” because she loved to share a Tootsie Pop or chocolate covered cherries to anyone she met.
One of her greatest joys was watching her 42 grand-kids grow up. Mary Ann was an avid reader. She also enjoyed singing and found time to be in several local plays, including My Fair Lady, and sang in the choir at St. Joe’s Church. As her children grew older, she worked at several places in Oxford including The Oxford Leader, The Oxford Party Shoppe, and Lynne’s Hallmark where she is most remembered. Mary Ann was an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lake Orion, attending mass daily and was always ready to provide a luncheon dish to a grieving family, once being asked to bring a dish to her own husband’s funeral because it was going to be a “big crowd.”
After being widowed to Ben, Mary Ann married Clarence William (Bill) Neumann in 2003, splitting their time living in Michigan and Florida and traveling throughout the country attending Bill’s WWII Air Force reunions.
Mary Ann is survived by her bonus son, Jeff (Pat) Neumann. She is preceded in death by her son Mark, her husband Ben and her husband Bill. A memorial service and funeral mass will be held when gatherings are possible. Mary Ann will be laid to rest along with her husband Ben, son Mark, and her father George at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly.
Condolences and memories may be shared on the Lynch and Sons Funeral Directors website. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to The Oxford Public Library.