September 2, 1934 – November 1, 2023
Wife of Rev. Ronald M. Fassett, Mary Lou (Loomis) Fassett, age 89, passed away on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, under hospice care at Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she had been a resident for 17 years. Mary Lou was born in Manistee, Michigan, the youngest of three children of Everett and Lucille (Sell) Loomis. Her mother passed away when she was just two years old. She had a loving relationship with her father, “her hero,” spending special time with him between his work travels as a long-distance truck driver. His time away at work led to Mary Lou growing up in Grand Rapids under the loving care of foster parents, Grace and Douglas Lillie, and foster sisters, Marion and Linda, who she lived with until she married.
Mary Lou met her husband, Rev. Ronald Fassett (Retired Elder), when they both attended Taylor University in Indiana and they married in 1956. After marriage, Mary Lou paused her studies to raise their four children, Karen, Julie, Mark, and Phil. Ron became an ordained Methodist minister and his pastoral assignments in the West Michigan Conference led them to live a life of service together beginning in Saugatuck, then Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Muskegon before a final appointment back in Grand Rapids.
While living in Kalamazoo, Mary Lou returned to college and graduated from Western Michigan University with her bachelor’s degree and elementary teaching certificate in 1969. She always delighted in being around young children and taught early childhood education for over three decades in Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Grand Rapids. She went on to earn two master’s degrees in Reading and Early Childhood Education and later her Principal license. Mary Lou spent the latter years of her career as Principal at the Roosevelt and Heritage Early Child Development Centers for Grand Rapids Public Schools before retiring in 1996. Even after, her contributions to educational excellence continued with Grand Rapids Schools and through her evaluation of child development centers.
Mary Lou and Ron served on many church and conference committees during their retirement years and were dedicated members of Oakdale United Methodist Church and later St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Mary Lou had a long history of volunteerism including, but certainly not limited to, 20,000 hours at Clark Retirement Community for which she received an award of recognition.
Mary Lou was known for her devoted love, Christian faith, humor, generosity, fortitude, mentorship, welcoming of newcomers at church and at Clark, and her “Howdy-do” and bright smile for everyone – friend or stranger. She loved music and learned to play piano as a child. She also played guitar for several years for her school children who didn’t care if she missed a few notes. Mary Lou crocheted afghans for her children and grandchildren when they were young. She was a voracious reader, consuming mysteries by all the best-selling authors, and a lover of jigsaw puzzles – especially when visitors would sit and complete them with her.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 52 years, Rev. Ronald Fassett; and brothers, Everett “Junior” Loomis and James Sell. She is survived by her four children and their partners: Karen Schuitema and Gregory Bailer, Julie and Matthew Carlson, Mark and Pamela Fassett, and Philip and Michelle Fassett; seven grandchildren: Samantha, Shane, Sarah, Aila, Skyler, Evan, and Sienna; four great-grandchildren: Makayla, Addison, Killian, and Melody; foster sister, Linda Clancy Garcia; brother-in-law, Leroy Fassett and special friend Marie; brother-in-law, Jerold Fassett; and many nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at the Chapel at Clark Retirement, 1546 Sherman St. SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan with Rev. Dr. Mike Conklin as officiant. Visitation will take place from 1-2 pm prior to the service in the BK Room. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Clark Benevolent Care Fund, Emmanuel Hospice, or Alzheimer’s Association. Mary Lou and Ron will be interred together at a family service at Woodlawn Cemetery, Grand Rapids, at a later date.
Arrangements are in the care of Hurst Hurst Funeral Home, Inc. Condolences may be given online at https://www.hurstfh.com/
Last Updated on November 9, 2023