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In memory of my mom, Mary Kay (Cohoon) Goodman, so together we may acknowledge and share our joy in the gift of her life, and the pain her passing brings. In sharing the joy, may we lessen the pain and remember more clearly.
Mary was only 73 when she passed away on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in Winter Garden, Florida surrounded by her loving husband of 54 years and her daughters. It’s hard to say goodbye. We wish we had more time, and that we spent more time together. Even though she is gone, Mary has left her legacy; a legacy of love and courage and perseverance. The way she touched our lives will remain and keep the memories alive.
Mom was open-hearted and loving. Everyone became family. She used to say, “The first time you come into our home you’re a visitor. After that, you’re family.” She meant it. Every person who crossed our threshold more than once was family. Just ask any of the kids or neighbors we grew up with who called her ‘Mom’. All you had to do was stop on in and mom would give you what ever you needed. A hug, a meal, the car keys, or a place to stay.
Before Mary and Keith had children of their own, they fostered children and even after their daughters they continued to be foster parents. Mom had so much love to give.
Handmade with love! That was mom’s passion. From the time we were children, mom sewed. She started out making our clothes. Then she sewed our doll clothes. She made pillowcases for sick children in hospitals. Through her life and through her illness, mom sewed. Her most recent creations were quilts. She made them for their beauty and for her family and friends or anyone who wanted or needed one. She would give them away. You liked it; it was yours. That was mom.
During her long battle with cancer, Mary took up the art of handmade cards. Just one more creative outlet for mom’s talent and another way for her to give to people. Last year she made 129 Christmas cards that we included in the backpacks donated to homeless Veterans.
Mom is survived by her husband (Keith Goodman), her daughters (Denise Robbins, Jeanine Rosenthal, Nikki Pilvelis, Faith Goodman), her mother (Maxine Cohoon), her siblings (Sheri Nelson, Terri Cohoon, Gary Cohoon), her grandchildren, and many more relatives and friends. Mary drew her strength from her family and left her legacy. She fought a great battle with cancer for more than fifteen years. Through it all, her love and caring for her family remained her focus.
Her perseverance and courage through adversity is a powerful lesson for all of us, and her legacy. Keep your priorities straight. Focus on what is important; family. Show love and compassion to all.
Though her passing was much too soon and leaves a hole in our hearts and the hearts of everyone who knew her. Rather than focus on the sadness of mom’s passing, our wish is that everyone focuses on the memories that they shared with a loving, caring, and creative woman. Carry on her legacy of ‘everyone is family’.
To the BEST MOM EVER, we know you are sewing in heaven and making quilts with the angels.
Mom, Mary, and I were in love and married for 54 years. Our objective was to awake every morning with a smile and at night say “I love you” with the same smile in place. In that endeavor, we were 99% successful. If you were a rodeo cowboy you would have to say it was a long great ride that only ended after the buzzer sounded. We received no ribbons, but knew in our hearts it was an accomplishment that we were extremely proud of.
Our mantra through the years was always “How can we help?” This was how we approached all of the people, friends, family and others we met through the five states where we lived. Our objective was to make the day a little lighter/brighter for whomever we met. As a result, we had more friends upon leaving the states than we had to start with. The feelings that we received were more than we expected so it was a good decision on our part and very rewarding at the same time.
When we were younger, we had the privilege of being foster parents to 34 children in need. We welcomed them into our home as though they were our own. The sad part of this was that they all had to leave at some point and it was always a tearful event for the whole family.
I firmly believe that Mom is now in a better place as a result her actions of being the outstanding person that she was..
Do I miss her, you bet. However, she will always be in my heart and on my mind.