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 Mary Jane <I>Stellick</I> Boutch

Mary Jane Stellick Boutch

Moorhead, Clay County, Minnesota, USA
Death 13 Jan 2006 (aged 55)
Caledonia, Houston County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Memorial ID 17308764 · View Source
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Mary Jane Stellick Boutch was an angel born on earth November 24, 1950. She ascended to heaven on January 13, 2006.

Your deep spirituality and selfless love will provide life lessons to many for eternity.


This is the sermon in memory of Mary Jane Stellick Boutch – recited by Pastor Tony Fink at the United Methodist Church in Caledonia, Minnesota.

January 18, 2006

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
"See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
They will be his peoples,
And God himself will be with them;
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
Mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away."

Revelation 21:1 – 4

It seems fitting that the picture on the table is one of Mary and Patrick. It is not just a formal portrait of Mary, but one of her smiling and standing with someone she loved. And to be fair, even though Patrick was a very special person in Mary's life, a picture of Mary smiling and standing with someone she loves could be a picture of her and Bill or so many people in this room.

It is fitting that this picture is up here, because it is not just a picture of Mary, but is also a picture, an icon of sorts, of the love that Mary had for so many people in her life.

As we gather here today to celebrate and witness to Mary's life and her love and faith, for those who know the story of this photo, the time that this picture was taken is significant. This photo was taken at the wedding of a cousin about a year and a half ago. On that day, Mary had known that she had recently been diagnosed with cancer. But Patrick and Mary didn't want to spoil the celebration that day with bad news, so they kept it to themselves for a few more days.

So this picture is also a symbol, and icon, of Mary's unselfish love.

Love is patient; love is kind; love in not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable for resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believe all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

This kind of love never ends. But we gather her today because our lives on this earth do end. On Friday afternoon, Mary's fight and struggle with cancer and the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments ended as she was held by Patrick and Bill.

And if you'd ask Patrick, he'd tell you that death is hard. Although, Patrick, I think you've used a different word.

But as we remember Mary today, I think that she'd not want us to focus on the cancer that took her from us, or on the pain of her death. She want us to celebrate her life, and her love for us, and her faith in her Lord Jesus Christ.

Mary's life began 55 years ago in Moorhead on Friday, November 24, 1950. It was the day after Thanksgiving.

From Moorhead, love and Christian concern brought her down her to the Caledonia area and into the family of Elder and Evelyn Stellick, who raised her as their daughter. This family also included John who was to be her brother. It was in this family that they were baptized into the faith and learned the stories of Jesus and his love for us.

As Mary grew up here, she attended school and graduated from Caledonia High School in 1968. While in school she mad many good friends. We saw the proof of this last June in our Fellowship Hall when her friends from high school, friends from 40 years ago organized a benefit for her.

There was further proof of the lives she touched as a great crowd gathered to support Mary and Patrick. Those from around the country who couldn't make the benefit sent gifts to be auctioned off. Mary had touched these person's lives in a special way to be remembered and supported so well.

Mary also touched Patrick's heart in a special way that will live on forever. About 38 years ago they were a part of each other's lives, as friends, but it wasn't until after Patrick left the area and came back that they truly found each other and their places in each other's hearts. And in 2002, on March 16, they married each other in Caledonia. And Patrick became a part of Mary's family and included her son Bill.

Those who know Mary know of her unselfish love of those in her life. It true to her form, that as she was feeling ill as she struggled with cancer, she didn't want to be a bother to anyone, and truly appreciated and thanked persons for the kindness that they showed her. I heard that at least once, she was more worried for Patrick going out into the cold weather to get medicine for her, than she was for herself.

Those who know Mary also know of her artistic talents. You remember her crafts and her work that adorn some of your homes. This past Christmas season, and other special person in her life, Kathe Trisch, shared with our church, three poinsettias that Mary had fashioned, to add more beauty to our sanctuary.

Mary had so wanted to come to our Christmas Eve service, but after much anticipation and planning, the cancer that she fought so valiantly kept her home that night. I was looking forward to seeing her, with her smile that she brought with her every time she could make it to church – and I was looking forward to her recognizing the poinsettias that she had made now adorning this sanctuary.

Yet, even though plans are made, life doesn't always take the turn we wish it would.

The last time I was with Mary in her apartment, I brought Holy Communion. She told me that day that she had the strangest feeling – it was as though she longed for, she yearned for Holy Communion, for this special meal with Jesus.

Of all the things in this world to desire with all of our heart, I can't think of a better thing to long for, to desire, than this special sacrament and relationship with Jesus.

Almost 2000 years ago, on the last night Jesus had with his disciples, on the night in which he game himself up for us and was arrested and later executed on the cross for us, he gave us the gift of this Last Supper so he could be present with us in a special way even now.

In the Gospel of John, on this last night he tells his disciples this,

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.

John 14:1 – 3

And on Friday, Jesus brought her home to his Father's house. And I can imagine him standing there with his arms wide open, with a smiling shining from his face. And I can see Mary with a smile just as big on her face.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been trying to get together with Patrick and Mary for Holy Communion. But whenever I called, the times just didn't seem to work. Part of me feels bad I didn't get up to their apartment that one last time. But a bigger part of me feels good. Good because I have confidence that Mary is experiencing a Communion with Jesus now, that is more Holy and closer than the one I could bring to her with the bread and grape juice.

The last time we celebrated communion together, I prayed these words,

By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ come in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.

On Friday afternoon, Mary entered that heavenly banquet. Her yearning has been satisfied and fulfilled.

Later on Friday afternoon, when Patrick and I were able to talk on the phone together, I felt bad. I was truly sorry that I was unable to be at his and Mary's side because we were in Duluth getting ready for our daughter's wedding on Saturday. (To be fair and honest, though, I was where I wanted to be, at my daughter's wedding.)

But I had so wished I could be with Mary and Patrick, by their side reading scripture and holding their hands and praying.

And then I realized that someone better was in their apartment with them that afternoon. In those last moments, along with Mary, Patrick, and Bill, Jesus was there.

Many of you know that these last moments, Mary looked up and asked Patrick and Bill if they could hear the beautiful music. Mary knew from where the beautiful music was coming. The angel choirs were singing that glorious prelude music for the heavenly banquet. That Heavenly Banquet to which Mary was the invited homecoming guest of honor.

Life takes some difficult turns and we know that losing a loved one is hard. But God is with us. This Jesus, who welcomed Mary home with open arms, is by our side, with his arm around us, helping us through the days that are ahead of us.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.

John 14:1 - 3

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  • Created by: Patrick Boutch
  • Added: 5 Jan 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 17308764
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Jane Stellick Boutch (24 Nov 1950–13 Jan 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17308764, ; Maintained by Patrick Boutch (contributor 46770805) Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.