Mary Louise Boomsma, nee Senave of Peach Bottom, died at her home on September 17, 2022. Mary was the wife of the late George L. Boomsma. She was 92.
Born in Detroit, MI, April 7, 1930, she was the daughter of Arthur Senave and Rachel Vandenabeele who emigrated from Belgium to Detroit in the 1920s.
Mary and George had four children; Diane Boomsma of Lancaster, wife of Mervin Sands; Louis Boomsma of Peach Bottom, husband of Tracee Boomsma; Michael Boomsma of Lancaster, husband of Donna Boomsma and Victoria Aslan of Philadelphia, wife of Elazar Aslan. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren.
Mary graduated valedictorian from St. Philips Neri High School, Detroit, MI in 1947. She attended Michigan State University where she met her future husband, George, on a blind date. She graduated in 1952 with a BA in Music Education.
In 1953, Mary and George exchanged their vows in Frankfurt, Germany where George was serving in the U.S. Army. While living in Germany, Mary began her career in education which she pursued for a total of 35 years teaching in Michigan, Germany, Venezuela, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Following her husband’s military service, the couple moved to Caracas, Venezuela for George's work. While living in South America, they traveled extensively through Central and South America and the Caribbean. Mary and George returned to the States in 1959 and settled in Paramus, NJ where they began raising a family.
Longing for more open spaces than the New York metro area could provide, Mary and George packed up their four young children, two dogs and a goose and moved to Peach Bottom in 1968 where they bought an old farmhouse which they restored over the years. Country living suited them perfectly. Though they were both born and raised in big cities, Mary and George embraced the Southern End community.
Once her children were school age, Mary resumed her career with Solanco School District in 1969 teaching reading support at the primary level. In 1974, she obtained her Master’s Degree in Education from Millersville University. She taught in several of the elementary schools in the District including Fulton, Little Britain, New Providence and Bart Colerain. Mary retired in 1997.
Mary had a passion for Lancaster County history especially of the Southern End. She served for many years on the board of the Solanco Historical Society and was a longtime member of the Lancaster County Historical Society and the Lancaster Preservation Trust. Mary created and marketed a board game, The Little Old and Slow Railroad, based on the long-abandoned, narrow-gauge rail line which coursed through the rolling farmland of southern Lancaster County. She authored two books: Andy’s Peach Bottom Railroad Adventures and Recollections and Romance of the Peach Bottom Railway 1868- 1881. Most recently, she was instrumental in the preservation of the Dorsey Station, a stop on the Lancaster, Oxford and Southern Railroad.
A steward of the environment, she was a member of the Lancaster County Conservancy. A prime example of her commitment to the community, in the 1970s, Mary and George were members of a grassroots coalition of neighbors – Save Solanco’s Environment -- who opposed the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Southern End. This effort took many years and was instrumental in the plans eventually being scrapped.
Mary cherished the country life, the environment and all creatures great and small -- especially dogs. From the moment she was born to the day she died she had a loving pooch by her side.
A devoted Roman Catholic, Mary was a parishioner of Saint Catherine of Siena in Quarryville where in her earlier years, she taught Sunday school and was in the choir, playing the organ or singing alto.
Mary was kind, patient, ambitious, firm in her convictions with a zest for life and learning. “A life well- lived” sums it up best. She will be sadly missed by her family.
A viewing will be held at Reynolds and Shivery Funeral Home, 144 E. State St., Quarryville, PA on Friday, September 23 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm with a recitation of the rosary immediately following. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Catherine of Siena, 955 Robert Fulton Hwy., Quarryville, PA on Saturday, September 24 at 12:00 pm. The family will receive friends from 11:00 am until the time of the service.
Please omit flowers and consider a contribution to the Humane League of Lancaster County, adoptapet.com.
To leave an online condolence, please visit www.reynoldsandshivery.com.