Mary Stroh


Mary Jean (Newby) Stroh, 97, passed away on Sunday, June 25, 2017, at Our Hospice in Columbus.

Mary Jean was the oldest of three daughters, born to Berlin and Wilma (Jones) Newby on Nov. 26, 1919, in Arcadia, Indiana. She married Byron Stroh on July 23, 1941, and they were parents to three sons, John (Beth), James and Mark (Mary). During a time when generations of family lived together, Byron and Mary Jean warmly welcomed their mothers, siblings and their nephew, Courtney Hizer, to their home, and Courtney was always considered one of Mary Jean’s boys.

Mary Jean was actively engaged in church, work, civic and family life. She was a member of North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, where Byron served as senior minister in his final church appointment. Following her retirement as the executive assistant to the Dean of the Indiana University Medical School, Mary Jean and Byron made their home at the Franklin United Methodist Community.

She nurtured glorious gardens all around her cottage and often hosted her grandchildren for fun-filled adventures and overnight visits. She drove friends to arts events and appointments in Indianapolis.

Upon moving into an apartment, she remained active by taking menus, newspapers and mail to many residents. She kept a busy schedule of shuffleboard, card games and dominoes, which she often won.

She was a master of jigsaw and crossword puzzles.

Known as “Baba” to her five grandchildren – David (Liz), Mary (Patrick Sabo), Dan (Lauren Huff), Kyle and Kelly – Mary Jean was happiest when surrounded by her family. She initiated an annual summer gathering that included her sons and their wives, their children, Courtney and his wife, Villa, and more recently, her great-grandchildren, Camille and Andrew Stroh. Stroh family vacations were highlighted by Mary Jean’s keen wit, her competitive spirit – especially while playing cards and word games – and her generous love of family. She lived well, laughed often and loved much.

A gathering to celebrate Mary Jean’s life will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 15, in Fellowship Hall at the Franklin United Methodist Community, 1070 W. Jefferson St., Franklin.

Donations in remembrance of Mary Jean may be made to the Franklin United Methodist Community or to North United Methodist Church, 3800 Meridian St., Indianapolis, Indiana 46208.

Most of all, Mary Jean would want others to honor her by loving their neighbors, friends and family as she did.