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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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February 19, 2020

1/11/2020 7:30:00 AM
Mary M. Ewan

Mary M. Ewan quietly passed from this world on Jan. 3, 2020 at the age of 94. She was born on Jan. 16, 1925 in Dorchester, Wis., the sixth child born to James Ovans Sr. and Lucille (Boyle) Ovans.

Mary was a 1942 graduate of Colby High School. After graduating, Mary moved to Milwaukee where she was employed in a factory during World War II. She was united in marriage to her sweetheart, Karl Ewan, on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 1946 in Milwaukee. They spent 68 loving years together until Karl passed away in November 2014. Mary and Karl were an openly affectionate couple who might pick up and dance in the living room if the right song came on. They lived most of their married life in Rhinelander, but often enjoyed family trips up to Canada in the earlier years.

Having the unique pleasure of raising children on a lake in a home built by Karl, Mary was adamant about having her kids become great swimmers. Throughout the years, it wasn't just her children who were able to enjoy the lake fun, but her grandchildren as well. With paddle boat rides and fishing in the summer along with ice skating in the winter, Mary and Karl's home seemed to automatically become a gathering place for loved ones.

Mary was of Irish and Scottish descent, and anyone who knew her probably learned about her love of all things Irish naturally, as it was something she fully embraced, even visiting Ireland on more than one occasion. Besides her trips to Ireland, Mary enjoyed celebrating St. Patrick's Day and the annual family reunion in Gresham.

Mary's sweet smile and adorable laugh only became more precious with age. Her love and adoration for babies and children continued to shine around her great-grandchildren. She spent some of her last years cozied up in the home where she raised her children, with a beautiful view of the lake, always enjoying the number of people who walked in her door for a visit.

She loved her family fiercely; something that was always felt on the receiving end. The love that came from Mary is something that will truly be missed by many, but genuinely not forgotten.

She is survived by her six children: Penny Kluetz, Karla Johnsen, Alan (Mary) Ewan, Mary (Brian) Karnosky, Kathy (Beecher) Skinner and Jim (Amy) Ewan. Michael (Lisa) Kluetz, Matthew (Laura) Kluetz, Korina Johnsen, Lucille (Aaron) Fale, Beth (Brian) Smith, Aubrey (Charles) Klaver, William (Amanda) Ewan, Dan (Meena) Karnosky, Katy (Josh) Klos, Joshua Cirilli, Karlye (Cole) Stephenson, Kellye Cirilli, Sam Cirilli, Anna Hessler, Mitchell Ewan and Madeline Ewan fondly called her Grandma, along with 17 great-grandchildren: Shannah Kluetz, Annie Fuller, Brie (Josh) Korth, Trevor, Marshal and Cassidy Klaver, Damian, Alana, Liam, Bella and Alexa Ewan, Keaton and Quinn Karnosky and Patrick Sante Cruz, Sophia Klos and Grace and Ruby Stephenson.

Mary is further survived by numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

She is also survived by her sister, Lucille Ward, with all of her other siblings having preceded her in death; James (Marietta) Ovans Jr, William Ovans, Helen (Harold) Werner, John (Phyllis) Ovans, George (Bernadine) Ovans, Thomas (Marilyn) Ovans and brothers-in-law, Arthur Ward and Herb Ewan; sons-in-law, Mike Kluetz and Jim Johnsen and her sisters-in-law, Ann Devine and Marion Browender.

The visitation for Mary will be held on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020 at the Hildebrand Funeral Home from 5 p.m. until the 6 p.m. Memorial Service. Fr. Mariadas Vallabhaneni and Dn. Michael Harvey will be officiating.

Inurnment will take place at a later date at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in memory of Mary may be directed to the family, Ascension at Home Hospice, or for masses to be said for Mary at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home and Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, 715-365-4343.

You are invited to light a candle, sign the guestbook, leave a photo or an online condolence at

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, January 10, 2020
Article comment by: Patricia (Patty) Raske

My dear precious friends, I am so sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. I have so many wonderful memories of our childhood. Both your Mom and Dad looked out for us as we were growing up. I will cherish all the memories I have.
I am sorry I will not be able to attend the funeral. I took a bad fall and at this time I can not walk or get around easily. I am offering you all up in prayer. Love you all. Patty.

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