On February 9, 2013, Mary Bussard was peacefully called home to be with her Heavenly Father while resting in the arms of her loving family.
In the year 1947 on June 18th Mary Helen was born to Mr. and Mrs. Harry Frost of Raymond, Wash. Mary was the first of four children born into the Frost household. Along with her younger siblings, she was raised in Pacific County and attended the Raymond Schools. Upon graduating from Raymond in 1965, Mary moved onto furthering her education at Grays Harbor College. Mary was awarded her LPN license while attending GHC’s nursing program.
During her time there, she met, dated, and fell in love with a small town boy, her very own Prince Charming in blue jeans and a t-shirt. Mary began her life as Mrs. Lee Bussard on July 15, 1967. This wedding is what opened the door to things that, as a couple, they could not even imagine. As they began to build the foundation of their lives together, Mary started working as a nurse while Lee worked as a mill right and mechanic. Mary worked at a couple of different places, including our local nursing home in Raymond.
They became parents in October of 1975. That’s when they adopted their oldest child, a delightful baby girl that they named Angilee. Then, almost a decade later, in September of 1984, Mary gave birth to a pretty baby girl. They named her Marilee. The Bussard family was now….COMPLETE! They were blessed with their first granddaughter in May of 1997, then a grandson a few years later in 2002. Soon after a second and a third granddaughter were added into the mix. She loved being a Gramma. She loved having both her girls and all four grandkids so close by. Mary believed in family. She instilled in her daughters that God and family were everything.
Filled with love, compassion, and a genuine interest in the lives of others, Mary readily and easily made friends. Mary and her husband Lee became the Youth Leaders at the First Baptist Church in Raymond for a period of time. Then, as their children began to get older and take part in the RAG youth, so did they. Mary spent many a week in a camp kitchen cooking for the youth group kids. She also LOVED spending hours upon hours with her Lao friends. She loved each one of them as though they were immediate family. Because Mary allowed herself the time to do as God asked of her, she was let in with open arms into cultures that normally wouldn’t have let her past the front door, let alone sit with them at a meal. Mary headed up several citizen classes. This allowed many of her Lao friends the honor of becoming US citizens. For them it was a great opportunity, truly an honored gift.
Mary also loved traveling to LaPush with her best friend and hubby, Lee. The quiet serenity of God’s creation recharged her. Again, she and Lee were taken in with open arms. Whether alone or hand in hand with her soul mate, her spirits lifted as she basked in her Maker’s beauty.
Anybody that knew Mary, knew she loved to garden. Lee would faithfully till the ground every year just the way she needed it. Her joy of being able to entertain company was always more than abundant. This also meant that the Bussard family was rarely without dinner guests. Dinnertime was especially exciting for her, as she had just harvested her garden. She simply glowed when she got the chance to shower her guests with the fresh fruits of her labor. Lee and Mary had several other “kids” besides their two. The Bussard house was the place to be if you were a kid, especially on pancake Saturdays. Mary spoke often of her other “kids”. About how blessed she was to have been allowed to play a role and impact their lives. The walls in the Bussard house are full of memories and laughter. All thanks to a couple that made a vow to do God’s will.
Mary is very well known for her gift of gab. She has been known to walk up to a complete stranger (even a tree) and strike up a conversation. Mary maintained a sweet demeanor that easily won the trust of others and the hearts of many more. People, even now, are being changed because of her dedication to God’s plan for her life and the lives of her family. The joy, the peace, the understanding and the smile she gave to others will not soon be forgotten. Throughout the years, Mary faithfully cared for her friends and family to the best of her ability. She was a woman of faith and really took what God had planned for her at any given time. Mary’s zest and zeal for life was contagious when she was around. She was the life of the party. She had a knack for making a party out of an event.
Over the past 17 weeks, you would often hear her say, “God has a plan, and it is good.” To hear these words are one thing; to live by them is to know the heart of God Himself. Mary truly believed in the next generation and felt that it was her God given responsibility to love on as many kids as she possibly could. The lives that have been impacted by one woman are endless. This was seen at her Celebration of Life back in November. To witness 300+ lives gather into one building just to hear her speak was awe inspiring. One woman. One wife. One mother. One friend. One vessel. To be like “Mary” is my greatest hope!
Mary is survived at the family home by her husband Lee Bussard; her daughters Angi (Wade) Cogdill of Marilee (Steve) Slater; her four grandchildren, Ashlee Bussard, Tristan Cogdill, Maggie Slater and Aimee Slater; her mother Margaret Frost, her sisters Alida (John) Shephard and Carol (Richard) Malone; her brother Wayne (Mary) Frost; her nieces April (Mike) Williams, Wendy Malone, Robbie Nipcon and Lisa (Patrick) Dugan. Several great nieces, close friends and last but far from least her dog, Sophie, all survive her.