Mary Louise Boomsma, née 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 years old.
Born in Detroit, MI on April 7, 1930, she was the daughter of Arthur Senave and Rachel Vandenabeele who emigrated to Detroit from Belgium 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 from St. Philips Neri High School, Detroit, MI in 1947. She attended Michigan State University where she met her future husband, George, on a date. blindly. She graduated in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in music education.
In 1953, Mary and George exchanged vows in Frankfurt, Germany, where George was serving in the United States Army. While living in Germany, Mary began her career in education which she continued for a total of 35 years, teaching in Michigan, Germany, Venezuela, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
After her husband’s military service, the couple moved to Caracas, Venezuela for George’s job. While in South America, they traveled extensively through Central and South America and the Caribbean. Mary and George returned to the United States in 1959 and settled in Paramus, NJ, where they began raising a family.
Longing for more open space than the New York metropolitan area could offer, Mary and George packed up their four young children, two dogs and a goose and moved to Peach Bottom in 1968 where they purchased an old farmhouse that they have restored over the years. Country life suited them perfectly. Although they were both born and raised in big cities, Mary and George embraced the Southern End community.
Once her children reached school age, Mary resumed her career with the Solanco School District in 1969 teaching reading support at the elementary level. In 1974, she earned her master’s degree in education from Millersville University. She has taught at several elementary schools in the district, including Fulton, Little Britain, New Providence and Bart Colerain. Marie retired in 1997.
Mary had a passion for the history of Lancaster County, especially the South 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 railway line that ran through the rolling farmland of southern Lancaster County. She is the author of two books: Andy’s Peach Bottom Railroad Adventures and Recollections and Romance of the Peach Bottom Railway 1868-1881. More recently she has been instrumental in the preservation of Dorsey Station, a stop on the Lancaster, Oxford and Southern Railroad.
An environmental steward, 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 south. This effort took many years and contributed to the abandonment of the plans.
Mary cherished country life, the environment, and all creatures, large and small, especially dogs. From birth until the day she died, she had a loving dog by her side.
A devout Roman Catholic, Mary was a parishioner of Saint Catherine of Siena in Quarryville where, in her early years, she taught Sunday school and was part of the choir, playing the organ or singing the viola.
Mary was kind, patient, ambitious, firm in her convictions with a joy of living and learning. “A good lifelived” sums it up best. She will be greatly missed by her family.
A visitation will be held at Reynolds and Shivery Funeral Home, 144 E. State St., Quarryville, PA on Friday, September 23 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with a rosary immediately following. A Christian Burial Mass will be held at St. Catherine of Siena, 955 Robert Fulton Hwy., Quarryville, PA on Saturday, September 24 at 12:00 p.m. The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service.
Please omit flowers and consider a contribution to the Humane League of Lancaster County, adoptapet.com.
To leave a condolence online, please visit www.reynoldsandshivery.com.