NEW CONCORD – Mary Louise La Barr Thorburn, age 93, of New Concord OH passed peacefully at home on Saturday September 17th 2022.
She was born April 30th 1929 in Chatham NJ to the late Esther Mary (La Barr) and Lester Apgar of NJ. She spent her early life surrounded by family in Chatham NJ and summers at Lake Shehawken in Pennsylvania. She started piano at an early age and then became a violinist attending the Julliard School of Music in NYC. She is a graduate of Colby Jr College in NH and Columbia University in NYC. She Battled polio at age 19 and recovered her health in Switzerland. Her love for travel began there and she started a travel agency company out of her home in Green Lake, MI, Leading groups to Europe and Cuba.
She met the love of her life in Lake Shehawken, Ronald, and they socialized for several years before marrying on May 9th, 1953. Ronald fought in Korea on a destroyer and when he returned he was surprised on the Betty White show my Mary Louise and their brand new baby, Heather Louise born February 14th, 1954. After serving in Korea, Ronald and Mary Louise moved to Green Lake MI accompanied by their brand new baby, Leslie Gail, where they resided for several years.
Ronald’s work then took them to Peninsula, OH where they lived atop a hill in the forest of what is now Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Mary Louise was always involved in something, creating a Japanese garden at their home, painting murals in their house and helping to drive the school bus for her daughter’s school, Old Trail in Bath, OH. Most every weekend, Mary Louise and Ronald would take the whole family to places like Colonial Williamsburg and museums. They were always traveling and made Heather and Leslie’s childhood very special. Mary Louise was an animal lover and being such rescued stranded birds, rabbits and opossums. They had ducklings, and even had two sheep for some time! She organized musical performances after art auctions at the G.A.R. Hall in Peninsula and was a part of the movement that created the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
After the park bought Ronald and Mary’s property in Peninsula, the couple fulfilled their dream of owning a country inn. They purchased the Inn at Weathersfield in Vermont in 1978 and restored it over the following years. Mary Louise used her excellent style and attention to detail to create a lovely experience for her guests. She served five course meals in the dining room while her husband entertained the guests with his piano. She was featured in several magazines and was featured in New York by the renowned chef James Beard.
After selling the Inn at Weathersfield in 1995, they purchased Sumner Mansion in Hartland, Vermont. They continued to operate the inn and host several weddings until 2009 when they sold the inn and moved to New Concord, OH to be close to family. Mary Louise’s husband passed away in 2011 and she has missed him every day since. Mary Louise enjoyed her family in her last years and her cat, Sheeba.
She is preceded in death by her parents and her sweet husband of 58 years, Ronald Lawrence Thorburn, as well as her favorite aunt’s, Betty Henshaw and Jane La Barr of NJ and grandson Jason Allen of GA.
She is survived by two daughters, Heather Beauchamp (Jack) of New Concord OH and Leslie Allen (Vern) of Tampa FL. Four grandchildren, Rachel Jane Hall (Ben) of Coshocton OH, Jesse Click (Devin) of Canton OH, Travis Allen (Lene) of Orlando FL and Lia Allen (Jonathan) of Denver CO. and her seven great grandchildren.
No services will be held at this time. The family will hold a celebration of life at a later date.
BOLIN-DIERKES FUNERAL HOME, 1271 BLUE AVENUE, ZANESVILLE ENTRUSTED WITH ALL ARRANGEMENTS.
To send a note of condolence to the family: www.bolin-dierkesfuneralhome.com