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Obituaries » Mary Bosco

Mary Bosco

April 8, 2017

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BOSCO, Mary Louise Mary Louise Bosco passed away April 8, 2017 in Santa Rosa at the age of 96. Beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was born in McComb, Ohio in 1920. While Mary was still a child, her father Stanley Poe was killed in a freak accident loading wheat from the family farm, leaving a wife and five daughters to fend for themselves during the Great Depression. Mary’s lifelong independence, self-determination and desire to live modestly without any form of waste or ostentation was shaped by this early tragedy. Mary joined the Army during World War II, and was always proud to be a veteran. She spent her life opposing war, however, and joined other Americans in demonstrating against the Vietnam War and the other subsequent U.S. military involvements. She was a member of Beyond War. Mary had deep moral and political commitments, always putting into practice her love of Christian and Zen teachings. She completed college during her 60s, with a degree in Sociology from Sonoma State. A descendant of Edgar Allen Poe, she was an accomplished writer, leaving behind poems of great beauty, and a good many Letters to the Editor that were published by the Press Democrat and other newspapers over the years. She was an environmentalist long before the movement became popular. A member of the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, she embraced a “small is beautiful” ethic, the need to conserve natural resources and more recently the fight against the causes of climate change. She also believed in health foods long before that movement became popular. “The other kids would have nice Wonder Bread sandwiches and Hostess Twinkies in their school lunches. Ours would be whole grain, hard to chew, garnished only with carrots, celery and an apple,” remembers her children. Mary’s children and grandchildren benefitted from her intense love and interest in their lives. Singing Irish lyrics or songs from her hymnal as she played the piano, or perhaps hearing of her latest gardening exploits were activities enjoyed by all throughout her life. She was not one to give advice or render judgment, but would apply her own life experiences to the dilemmas brought to her attention. The untimely death of her daughter Carroll at age 40 to breast cancer left a sadness that deeply affected Mary’s life. It framed and heightened her love of family and activist compassion for others. Mary is survived by her son Douglas Bosco (Gayle), daughters Robin Atherton (Steve) and Barbara Bergstrom (Rick), her grandchildren John Bosco (Katelyn), Cassandra Hoyt, Erik Schraga, Allison Needham, Christian Schraga (Christina), Katie Mason (Matt), Nick Smith (Ivona), Emily Angelopoulos, Robin Noelle Jass (Vaughn), Ben Bergstrom (Tori), and Jeff Bergstrom (Vanessa). Her great-grandchildren are Katherine Bosco, Jake; Tyler and Dylan Schraga; Carson Needham; Simon Schraga; Hailey, Carly, Caroline and Nick Mason; Sidney and Ben Smith; Dominic and Anthony Angelopoulos; Charlie Rose, Savannah and Jake Jass; Benjamin, Nicholas and Alexander Bergstrom; and Maverick and Demetrius Bergstrom. Mary’s family thanks the superb staff at Villa Capri Senior Living, and Memorial Hospital Hospice. Plans are for a family gathering to commemorate Mary’s life. Contributions to Memorial Hospice, 439 College Ave., Santa Rosa 95401, would be much appreciated.