Mary Ola (Bozman) Churchwell entered Heaven on Sunday, February 7, 2021, after spending 92 eventful and meaningful years on earth. Born on October 5, 1928, Mary Ola spent her last days at home in Helena surrounded by family and friends. Mary Ola will be missed by her children, friends, and relatives. Mary Ola was steadfast in her love of Jesus and her faith never wavered. Her parting encouragement to her loved ones was often; “Put your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee.”
We mourn the loss of our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend who had a tenacious spirit, lighting up so many lives with her love and joy. Mary Ola loved making beautiful birthday cakes for her family and loved ones, blessing us with her paintings, her laugh, and so much more. Her adventurous personality and desire to explore all the beauty of the world was contagious and she continually made new friends everywhere she went.
Mary Ola often joked about the fact she was born in a barn (refurbished) just outside of Marietta, Ohio. In her childhood, Mary Ola enjoyed spending time with her family, especially when they swam and fished in the Ohio River. When Mary Ola was eight years old, her mother Ola had a dream of angels being dressed as Salvation Army Officers(ministers). Soon after, they began attending the Salvation Army Church where they all accepted Christ as their Savior and many of them went on to dedicate their lives to the work of God, following the Salvation Army Motto: “Heart to God, Hand to Man”. Mary Ola and her five siblings learned to play brass instruments and often all played together in The Salvation Army Band. In her youth at the Salvation Army, Mary Ola participated in “Sun Beams”, and “Girl Guards”, where she honed many life skills. Throughout much of her life, Mary Ola taught Sunday School teaching hundreds of children about the love of God and leading many of them to Jesus.
Mary Ola enjoyed an adventuresome life after her high school graduation in 1946. She worked in Ohio for Proctor and Gamble and soon thereafter worked in Washington D.C. for the United States Navy in the Bureau of Ships Department. Mary Ola then took an ocean liner, the Isle-de-France, to join her husband, John Peck, stationed in Orleans, France with the U.S. Army. There they welcomed their first-born son Kenneth in 1952. After returning to the US, Harold was born in May 1954. Soon after, Mary Ola and her two young sons relocated to Shamokin, PA, to be near her sister, Ada. While in Shamokin, PA, Mary Ola worked at a shoe factory where she loved being able to model the new line of shoes each season. She also met and married William Lytle Jr. and they welcomed three children-Dorothy, James, and Carol.
In June of 1968, Mary Ola and her children then relocated to Helena, MT to be near her brother Ray and sister-in-law Della Bozman. While in Helena, Mary Ola joined Parents Without Partners where she enjoyed many family activities such as camping, barbeques, dances, holiday events, and parties. Through PWP, she also met and married Donald Maynard and they welcomed their daughter, Donna, into the world.
Mary Ola enjoyed many years working for the State of Montana in the Employment Security Division. She retired from the State in January of 1991 and maintained many lifelong friends. After retirement. Mary Ola worked part-time creating flower arrangements at Faun’s Flower Shop, her dream job, and part-time for a medical lab. Throughout her life, Mary Ola was involved in multiple community groups such as: Salvation Army Home League, Garden Club, Historical Society, Toastmasters, PWP, and many others we children are unable to remember.
In 1998 Mary Ola met and married Bob Churchwell. Soon after they relocated to Alder, MT for 18 happy years. They enjoyed retirement by fishing, hunting, bowling, and being active in their church. After Bob’s passing in January 2017, Mary Ola returned to Helena and lived at Hunter’s Pointe.
Mary Ola is preceded in death by her parents Leland Fisher and Ola Blanche Bozman, her husband Robert Churchwell, previous husbands Donald Maynard, William Lytle, Jr., and John Peck. Her brothers William, James, Raymond, and Vernon Bozman, and her son Harold (Hal) Peck. Mary Ola is survived by her sister Mrs. Lt. Colonel Ada Southwood of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; her children Kenneth William Peck of Helena, Montana; Dorothy Lytle (Chris) Means of Chandler, Arizona; James (Rose) Lytle of Helena, Montana; Carol Lytle (Kevin) Pitt of Kalispell, Montana; and Donna Maynard (Paul) Bohler of Billings, Montana. Step-children Shari Churchwell (Rodney) Estenson of Helena, Montana; Karen Churchwell (Steven) Braun of Livingston, Montana; and Martin (Bonnie) Churchwell of Bozeman, Montana; 19 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren, nephews, and nieces.
A service celebrating Mary Ola’s life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 13 at the Salvation Army, 1905 Henderson Street, Helena, MT. Internment will be held in June 2021 at the Forestvale, Cemetery, Helena, MT.