In Loving Memory
Mary Ellen Borden LeMar, 87, of Boise, passed away on Friday, June 25, 2010 at a Nampa hospital. Mary Ellen was born in Liberal, Kansas on March 5, 1923. She was raised under hard conditions during the dust bowl, where she learned to live life simply with her seven siblings. She and her sisters rode one horse bareback two and three at a time to and from school. Following her two brothers, Charley and Roy, Mary Ellen joined the Military, leaving her family in Liberal Kansas to travel the US, Europe and Africa with the Women’s Army Corp (WAC) during World War II. Her first job with the WAC was to assemble and pack parachutes at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho. However, she was soon dispatched overseas where she was stationed in Italy and North Africa. In North Africa, she rode in 40x8 boxcars while advancing with General Patton’s Army, and she was involved in two combat campaigns while in Italy. Her MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) during her service was a Clerk/Typist but upon discovery of her ability to drive, (a rarity for women of this time) the Army began utilizing her as a driver; Mary Ellen became responsible for driving officers to and from the front lines. Mary Ellen was very proud of her military service. Soon after World War II ended, while still in Germany, Mary Ellen met and married Jack LeMar and started a family. Their first son, Jackie was born in Germany in 1947. He died as an infant, presumably of SIDS, and is buried in Liberal, KS. Mary Ellen subsequently gave birth to four more children; Stephen, Cynthia, Jeffory (Diamond) and Rick. Together, Mary Ellen, Jack and the children traveled with the Army and lived in various locations in Germany, Japan and the United States. While stationed at Gowen Field when she was in the WACs, Mary Ellen fell in love with Boise and when she separated from Jack, she moved back to Boise with her four children. Mary Ellen never forgot her days as a young girl in the dust bowl and used the lessons she learned then to raise food on a small amount of land and make do with what she had. She bought three acres of land near Boise that she named Wild Rose after the numerous wild rose bushes on the land. She called this her farm and raised many cattle, sheep, pigs, chicken and geese on the three acres and though relatively poor, her family never needed meat. She was also an excellent seamstress and loved to make quilts. Many of her family members have quilts made by Mary Ellen today. She worked for Civil Service for 30 years and particularly enjoyed her time spent with the Forest Service at remote locations, such as John Day Oregon and Colville Washington. She loved the mountains and the outdoors. Mary Ellen is preceded in death by her first son, Jackie; her brothers, Charley and Roy; sisters, Elma, Velma and Carol Jean. She is survived by her younger sister, Barbara Fowlkes of Imperial, California; her four children, Stephen, Cynthia, Diamond (Jeffory), Rick and his wife Melissa; her seven grandchildren, Sam and his wife Lura, Ryan, Nate and his wife Carrie, Chelsea, Danielle, Christopher Jacob and Rachel and soon to be great granddaughter, Lucy Ellen. Mary Ellen is remembered fondly by all that were touched by her. Her dedication to family and loved ones has been passed on and will live with us forever. She was an adventurous and fearless spirit; an example to live by and to follow for all that knew her. A funeral was held at Chapel of the Chimes in Meridian, Idaho and she will be brought back to Liberal.
o Graveside service will be 11:00 am Sat., July 3rd at Liberal Cemetery with Samuel LeMar presiding. Visitation will be 9 am – 8 pm Fri. at Kitch-Brenneman Funeral Home, Liberal with the family present to greet friends from 7 – 8 pm.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in care of Kitch-Brenneman Funeral Home 1212 W. 2nd Liberal, KS 67901.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.brennemanfuneralhome.com.