The Rev. Mary Louise Erwin, 100, joyfully went to be with her Savior on Nov. 13, 2016.
She was born in Leon, Kansas on Oct. 2, 1916, to Bert and Salomia Meeks.
She married her high school sweetheart, Carroll J. Erwin in Kingman, Kansas, on June 3, 1934, and he preceded her in death in June of 2013 at the age of 99. They enjoyed 79 years of marriage together and were blessed with a large family, daughter and son-in-law, Delores and the late Rev. Don Bowers and son and daughter-in-law, Jerry and Alma Erwin; grandchildren, Diana Angell, Dale (Julie) Bowers, Bill (Patty) Erwin, Doug (Paula) Bowers, Tammy Wheeler, Jeff (Dawn) Erwin and Denise (Scotty) Jones; great-grandchildren, Jared Angell, Dr. Joshua (Cindy) Bowers, Matthew (Erin) Sneed, Dustin (Holly) Erwin, Montanna Sneed, Rachel (Rich) Stuart, Sara (Cristian) Angell, Elizabeth Williams, Rebekah (Kyle) Erwin, Taylor (Danny) Gooch, Tyler (Brittney) Erwin, Jacob Erwin, Lauren Jones, Nathaniel Jones, Kyle Erwin and Austin Erwin, Breanna, Rachel and Hunter Bright as well as great-great-grandchildren, Mia, Landon, and Kennedy Bowers, Isabelle and Bronc Sneed, Braeden, Jovie and Kamryn Erwin, Molly and Kate Stuart, Yoav and Sladen Angell, Madeline Willams, Adelyn Gooch, Decimus and Nikko Gills. Carroll and Mary Erwin leave behind a long legacy of loving family and friends who became family.
Among her many accomplishments the Rev. Erwin was called to preach in 1949 and she pastored Methodist churches in Broughton, Oliver, Thackery, Concord, Pleasant Grove, Bruce Chapel, Springerton-Asbury, Macedonia, Corinth, Ewing and Dahlgren until her retirement in 1982. The Rev. Erwin opened many doors for women with her trailblazing entry into the ministry. She completed her course of study for the clergy in 1955 although her diploma was not awarded due to concerns about allowing women in the ministry. Her accomplishment was finally recognized and her diploma was awarded at the 2006 annual conference session. Despite that, Rev. Erwin has been spreading the gospel for 67 years, leading others to the Lord and spreading words of encouragement.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, in Creal Springs United Methodist Church. Family and friends will celebrate the life of the Rev. Mary Erwin with visitation and services from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at Gohlson Funeral Home in McLeansboro, and graveside services in Pleasant Grove Cemetery west of McLeansboro on Illinois 14.