Mary Ellen passed away peacefully Wednesday, September 12, 2018. She was born in Kalamazoo on July 24, 1935, the fourth daughter of five to Ray and Catherine (Neeson) Blanchard. The family moved to the Otsego School District in 1938, she started kindergarten in 1940. There was only one bus then and she was the first kindergartener to be in class all day, city children went half days. She became a cheerleader in high school and graduated in 1953. After high school she worked at the Upjohn Company and in 1954 she met Dean Himmelein. They married June 11, 1955 in Otsego. They moved to Plainwell in 1958 and bought and started several businesses. The Garden Hotel, a construction business, they built Two Cities Motel on M-89, A-1 Pools, Corky's Drive-In in Allegan, Trampoline and Go Kart track at Pine Lake and clothing stores in Allegan and Centreville. Throughout the years she also opened her home to many who needed a place to live. She treated them as though they were her own. She was their teacher, mentor and second mom. She taught them everything she knew, especially history and of course put them all to work. In her free time Mary Ellen enjoyed writing short stories and poetry and her "Count Your Blessings" poem was published in 2003. She also enjoyed playing the piano, writing songs and reading the Bible. Surviving are her sister, Rosemary Berry of Kalamazoo; her children, Rick Himmelein of Martin, William (Gretchen) Himmelein of Plainwell and Sheryl Willis of Otsego; grandchildren, Jennifer Himmelein of Paw Paw, Melissa Mclemore of Paw Paw, Erica Himmelein of Paw Paw, Erin, Paul, Katie and Autumn Himmelein of Plainwell; great-grandchildren, Alexia, Baylee, Mayson, Hannah, Jacob Kaleb, Dexter and Westen. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dean; stillborn son; mother and father and sisters, Dorothy Kisinger, Betty Shaff and Esther Zimmerman. According to her wishes cremation has taken place. Burial of ashes will take place at Oakwood Cemetery in Allegan. On September 23, 2018 a memorial gathering will be held at the Old Plank Road Restaurant in Plainwell from 1-4 P.M. Contributions in memory of Mary Ellen may be made to the Wings of Hope Hospice of Allegan. Messages of condolence may be posted at www.winkelfuneralhome.com.