Mary Ellen Hughes Holsonbake, 89, passed away surrounded by family on November 16, 2015 at her home. Services have been entrusted to the care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home of Perry and a service celebrating Mary’s life will be held at The Event Center at 424 N. 7th in Perry at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 21, 2015. Public visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, November 21, 2015, with family greeting friends at the funeral home from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday evening.
Mary was born on August 29, 1926 in Los Angeles, California to Ervin Roscoe and Ruby Pearl (Burnside) Hughes. Roscoe passed away in Pawnee of dust pneumonia when Mary was eight and her mother married C.A. Layton, who raised her as his own child. She grew up around the Lela and Pawnee area where she attended Pawnee High School, finishing with the Class of 1945. She married Francis Layton on February 20, 1945 and seven children were born to this union: David, Donna, Patricia, Phyllis, Steven, Ervin, and Kenneth. She moved to Okmulgee in 1960 where she attended Okmulgee Technical School to earn her degree in Furniture Upholstery, graduating in 1963. She maintained a 4.0 average while in school, a fact that she was very proud of. Following her schooling and divorce from Mr. Layton, Mary moved to San Bernardino, California where she began a lifetime career as a furniture upholsterer.
On October 17, 1971 she married the love of her life Weldon Royce “Roy” Holsonbake. Mary and Roy relocated to Nampa, Idaho where they worked together constructing mobile homes. In June of 1974 they returned to Pawnee to be close to Mary’s family. They moved to Perry in 1988 where she opened Mary and Dave’s Upholstery Shop. Mary also worked at Perry Public Schools as a middle school custodian from 2003 to 2009. She enjoyed working at the school and was proud that she was able to work with her grandson Kevin Jones as her trusted sidekick. In 2013, Mary sold her upholstery business and retired due to health reasons.
Mary was a loving and generous woman who lived her life to serve others. In 1986 she hosted a German exchange student in her home for a year and served as a mother and grandmother figure to far more children than she was related to. She was constantly taking in her children’s friends to love, feed and raise in their younger years and continued to nurture some of them. She was a protective and nurturing grandma who almost always had a grandchild or two living with her.
Mary enjoyed gardening, canning, fishing and traveling with her husband Roy. Mary was a strong and independent lady whose smile and generous spirit left an unmistakable mark on the lives of those she touched. She will certainly be missed by all who knew and loved her.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents Ervin “Roscoe” Hughes and Ruby Hughes Layton and stepfather C.A. Layton, siblings, Mercine Hughes, Margaret Graham, and Robert Layton; her children David Layton, Donna Sisco, Ervin Layton; along with several other family members.
She is survived by her husband of the home, Roy Holsonbake, children Patricia Jones and Brian Smith of Perry; Phyllis Smith and husband Paul “Pete” of Perry; Steven Layton and Lynn Tet of Tulsa, OK; and Kenneth Layton and wife Alphreda of Perry; Siblings Harry Hughes of Perry and Frank Hughes of Ripley; 24 grandchildren; many great -grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, other family members and family members not born by blood but born through love.
Memorial contributions may be made in Mary’s honor to the Wheatheart Nutrition Project or Ross Hospice, in care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home, P.O. Box 189, Perry, OK 73077.
Condolences may be sent to the family via an online guestbook at www.perrycares.com.