Mary Janell Bilodeau, age 59, of Fairfield Glade,Tennessee and formerly of the Spring Lake Park area, passed away May 16, 2008 at Cookeville Regional Medical Center in Cookville, Tennessee. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, May 27th at Strike Funeral Home – Cambridge Chapel. A visitation will be held 1 hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Mora.
Mary Janell Bilodeau was born on May 31, 1948 to Donald and Viola Smith. She was the third and last daughter who arrived to join her big sisters, Donna and Theda, and finally complete the family. She grew up in Spring Lake Park and had many fond memories from her childhood. She blossomed especially in high school were she had many great friends and was actively involved in the theater program. It was during the course of her work on the school plays that she met Larry Guzy of Blaine who would be her first husband. After graduating from Spring Lake Park High School in 1966, she began work as a dental assistant with her best friend, Patsy. In 1970, she and Larry married and shortly thereafter moved to California. In 1972, she gave birth to her daughter Christina (Tina). She had always wanted to be a mom and she raised her only child with all the love, support, and friendship that is shown by only the best mothers. She and Larry separated and finally divorced but always remained close friends. While she had many friends in California, it was a thrill for her to discover her high school friend, Linda, had relocated to the area. They were able to reestablish the close bond they had in high school and maintain it despite other relocations for both of them. She had a few career incarnations through the years including work in retail, additional work in the field of dentistry, and finally in publishing where she did proofreading and account maintenance for a local paper and then the phone book; all of which were in an effort to provide a good life for herself and her daughter. In 1994, she met and soon after married her second husband, Marcel Bilodeau. They had a full and active life together which included many wonderful trips. And all who knew them saw the happiness they brought each other. In 2007, they decided to relocate to Tennessee in order to enjoy a more quiet life. The move allowed her to take an early retirement. Just last summer, she attended an all-school reunion for Spring Lake Park High school where she was able to reconnect with many of her old friends. She had a wonderful time sharing stories and catching up with them. She was an avid reader, a gifted poet, and always dreamed of writing children’s books for which she had even completed a correspondence course. She was loved by all who knew her, had a generous spirit, a kind heart, and an upbeat attitude, wielded a great sense of humor, and wanted nothing more than to be loved,………. and for the world to be a fair place but needless to say in that she was often disappointed. One of her family’s last and best memories of her was just 2 months ago at her daughter’s wedding. She was proud and beaming and so happy that it may well be the way most of us choose to remember her. If her daughter was happy then she was too. That was the kind of mother she was, giving and caring to the last moment.
Mary died peacefully, albeit suddenly, on May 16, 2008 at the age of 59 years, 11 months and 15 days in Cookeville, Tennessee. She was preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws, and her niece, Wendy. She will be missed immeasurably by her entire family and network of friends which includes people in all corners of the country. The world won’t ever be quite the same without her.
She is survived by her husband, Marcel of Fairfield Glade, TN, her daughter, Christina (Philip) Martin of Los Angeles, CA, her two sisters, Donna (Don) Sogge of Ham Lake and Theda Engberg of Coon Rapids as well as her 2 nephews, Christopher and Joseph and their families, her 3 nieces, Ann, Rebecca, and Janette and their families, and many close friends.