May 30th 1947 - Sep 6th 2013
Although she was taken from her loved ones too soon, Mary Radigan made a significant impact in the lives of all who were within her reach. She could see the positive side in any situation, and her warm demeanor drew others near with ease. Mary was fully devoted to her children, but she just may have argued that being a grandmother was the role she treasured most. She was a bit of a free spirit with a little bit of strong will thrown in who wasn’t afraid to be independent either. Mary will be deeply missed, but her memory will remain forever near and dear to the hearts and lives of all who were blessed to feel her love.
With the end of WWII in 1945, America was able to make the shift from being a nation at war to being a nation at peace. With servicemen and women returning home, the baby boom, which would last a number of years, was underway. It was during this bustling time that a young couple from Texarkana, Arkansas, was blessed with the birth of a healthy baby girl on May 30, 1947. Mary Susan was the oldest of six children born to her parents, John Thomas and Vivian Adaire (Shepard) Radigan, and she was raised alongside her siblings, Kitty, Andrea, Michelle, Tim, and Robin. Her father was a career Army lieutenant colonel, and as a result the family moved all over the country frequently. In fact, all of Mary’s siblings were born in different cities. Her mother focused her attention at home. Eventually the Radigan family settled in Bay City, Michigan.
In many ways Mary experienced an upbringing that was fairly typical for the youth of her generation. She graduated from Visitation School in 1965 where the family was also members. While in high school she was a drum majorette, and she also sang in the church choir.
On October 23, 1965, Mary married Tom Lohr at Visitation Catholic Church in Bay City, Michigan. Tom worked as a salesman while Mary set about caring for their two boys, Brian, who was born in 1966 and Kerry, who was born in 1970. It was also in 1970 that the Lohr family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, when Mary’s husband was transferred. Mary and Tom raised their children in a home on Kentfield SW until they moved to Wedgewood Street in 1977.
From the moment her children were born Mary made caring for them her priority. She was very involved in their lives as she was there for all school and band events including field trips, and she was also a member of the PTA. Mary made the most of her children’s birthdays as she always made them each a custom cake for their special day.
In addition to caring for her family, Mary worked as a reporter for the Wyoming Advocate newspaper, reporting on local news. Together she and Tom were very involved in the Wyoming Jaycees, and together they were credited with revitalizing the program. They tackled numerous fundraisers and community events, helping in whatever way they could for numerous years.
After she and Tom divorced in 1989, Mary bought a home on Fairway NW. This is where Mary called home throughout the rest of her life.
New and exciting changes were in store for Mary when she became reacquainted with a man named Michael Hale whom she had known for several years. After falling in love, Mary and Mike were married in October of 2001. He also brought his daughter, Sarah, into Mary’s life. Mary loved traveling, and together she and Mike traveled to places such as Florida, Colorado, Hawaii, and several trips to Chicago where Mike proposed to her at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. With a keen appreciation for the arts, Mary loved attending musicals and plays including numerous shows put on by Grand Rapids Broadway Theater Guild. Because of her love of theater and music, she participated in many Grand Rapids Civic and Circle Theater productions as well as the Sweet Adelines.
Throughout her life Mary enjoyed many things, which were made even better when they were shared with her loved ones. Her family appreciated her cooking skills with Salisbury steak and various dishes in the crock pot being among her specialties. Being politically minded and opinionated when it came to the political scene, Mary watched the different news channels - even taping a show while she watched a different one so that she could watch it later. She was always up on current events. It was also not uncommon to find her watching football with her jersey on at Mike’s side. Mary had a diverse palette of music that she enjoyed as she liked everything from pop to modern, and she was a Michael Jackson fan as well. She had an insatiable thirst for reading and was known for reading the newspaper from front to back, magazines, and countless books.
For the last several years Mary was afflicted with some health challenges. At first it was back problems and diabetes, but in September of 2011 she was diagnosed with angiosarcoma, a blood and tissue cancer. Life went on as normally as it could until she suffered a major stroke a few days ago.
A generous, compassionate, and fun-loving woman, Mary Radigan was a blessing in the lives of those around her. She was a loving wife, devoted mother, and doting grandmother who treasured her family above all else. Mary was positive in all things and had a zest for life that was contagious to all who were within her reach. Life will never be the same without her here, but the lives of numerous others are forever changed because of her touch.
Mary Susan Radigan, aged 66 of Grand Rapids, went to be with her Lord on September 6 2013. She leaves her husband and soul mate, Michael Lee Hale; the love of her life. Mary is survived by her Mother, Vivian (Shepard) Radigan, two beloved sons, Brian M. Lohr, (Patrick) of Grand Rapids and Kerry A. Lohr (Windy) of Mason, Mi.; grandchildren, Andrew, Alex and Alsatia Lohr, and stepdaughter, Sarah Hale of Grand Rapids. Mary also is survived by sisters Norma “Kitty” (Robert) Prior of Rapid City, Mi.; Andrea (Howard) Fischer of Loveland, Co.; Michelle Page of Macomb, Mi.; Robin (Peter) Sewell of Georgetown, In.; and brother, Michael “Tim” (Rosemary) Radigan of Morris, Il.; several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, as well as many dear friends and former colleagues at The Grand Rapids Press. Her father, Col. John T. Radigan of Bay City, Mi, preceded her in death. Mary had a distinguished and award-winning career for 26 years at The Press, working as a reporter/writer for everything from medical issues and the furniture industry to retail development and overall business news. During that time, she also wrote a column for the paper’s Wonderland Magazine and a weekly Money Matters column in the Business section. Upon retirement in 2007, Mary was a freelance writer for several publications, including Grand Rapids Magazine, Monday Morning Quarterback, Dome and Michigan Meetings and Events. Prior to arriving at The Press, Mary wrote for the Wyoming Advocate and served as that weekly paper’s last editor. In keeping with Mary’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A celebration of her life will take place on Monday September 9, at 4:00 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW, Grand Rapids. Friends and family will gather to at the funeral home on Monday from 2:00 – 4:00 PM. Interment will be at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Bay City at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Mel Trotter Ministries, 225 Commerce Ave SW Grand Rapids, MI 49506.