Mary F. Brigden, 91, of Battle Creek, MI passed away peacefully on Saturday May 1, 2021 at Calhoun County Medical Care Facility where she resided since October 2018. She was born on May 22, 1929 in Battle Creek, Michigan, the daughter of Warren C. Leach and Thelma F. (Harris) Leach. She grew up in Bedford with her parents and two younger siblings, a sister, Kathleen Leach and a brother, David O. Leach. She attended Kellogg Agricultural High School where she graduated on her 18th birthday, May 22, 1947.
She met her husband Charles "Charlie" Brigden when her best friend Gloria set them up on a blind date in 1949. They were married June 17, 1950. They were together over 49 years.
As a child Mary and her sister Kate worked in their dad's garden but her favorite chore was doing dishes. Her first real job was at age 15 when her Uncle Rolland gave her work cleaning rooms and serving food at his resort cottages in Cloverdale, Michigan. Mary also worked doing paperwork in the office at Clark Equipment. Her greatest accomplishment was serving as a volunteer in the Community Hospital Auxillary for 40 years. She served as a chairman for 9 bazaars.
Mary and her husband loved to travel. They went to Mackinaw City/Island, Florida to visit her sisters and family, Arizona and Las Vegas. They didn't have children of their own so all their nieces were like their children. She loved to have family over for holiday celebrations and family dinners.
She loved doing crafts like cross-stitching, knitting, needle work and quilting. You would often find her doing word search puzzles and she loved to play Bingo with friends. She loved cats and had two of them with her husband.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Brigden in 2000; her father, Warren C Leach when she was only 20 years old; her mother, Thelma F. Leach in 1992; great-grandparents; grandparents; her sister Kathleen "Kate" Chapman; brothers-in-law, Wendall Chapman and Ernie Dennis; a half-sister, Nan Dennis; a nephew, Larry Dennis; and sister-in-laws, Elizabeth O'Dell and Margie Bigley. Mary is survived by her brother, David Leach (Leona), seven nieces, Robin Knitt (Don), Terri MacFawn (Mark), Julie Mathiak (Rick), Merrilee Waltman (Craig), Heidi Leach Case, Noreen Hinds (Jim) and Kay Le Boeuf (James); two nephews; eight great-nieces and six great-nephews; six great-great nieces and twelve great-great nephews.
A private interment for immediate family will be held on her birthday, May 22, 2021 at Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, MI. A public funeral service to celebrate Mary's life will be held 11:00, Saturday May 22, 2021 at the First United Methodist Church 111 East Michigan, Battle Creek, MI. The family asks that memorial donations be made to First United Methodist Church Battle Creek, Humane Society of South Central Michigan 2500 Watkins Rd. Battle Creek, MI or Calhoun County Animal Center 165 Union Street South, Battle Creek, MI. Arrangements by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care Battle Creek. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.