Mary Lynn Carter died April 23 surrounded by her loved ones.
Mary was born to Jim and Martha Brown on May 29, 1951, in Burns under unusual circumstances. Martha had epilepsy, which resulted in difficulties with the birth. She was bed-ridden for a year afterward and Mary’s gradmother came to live with the family to help during that trying time.
Mary spent her entire childhood in Harney County. She graduated from Burns Union High School in 1969. After high school Mary worked for the local phone company. During that time, Mary met James Schouviller. The two dated for some time before they were married in May of 1972.
In 1975, Mary gave birth to their first son Matthew Jason. Shawn Dale later followed in 1978 and the family was complete. She was a stay-at-home mother until the boys started school.
As the boys grew older, Mary often enjoyed camping out, boating at Lake Owyhee Reservoir, or riding ATVs in the remote sections of Harney County. The family lived on the edge of town and enjoyed many of the simple pleasures that wide open spaces provide. If not at the house in the country, they could be found at Mary’s parents’ house or at one of her sons’ activities. Mary and Jim divorced in 1989.
This began a new chapter in Mary’s life. She was now a single mother doing her best to corral two very energetic boys. The three of them moved to Fruitland, Idaho, for about a year following her divorce.
In 1991 Mary became ill, and she and the boys returned to be with her family in Burns. After getting back on her feet, Mary began to work as a receptionist at the fish and wildlife refuge outside Burns. It was then that she met Ron Carter. The two were married in August of 1991 at the Corbett cabin. Together they enjoyed the outdoors and could often be found just driving around the wilderness near the cabin. They would drive for hours spotting wildlife and enjoying each other’s company.
Over the next few years Mary and Ron lived in Empire, Nev., and Payette, Idaho. Mary’s boys took jobs in the area and once again she was reunited with both sons. While in the Treasure Valley, Mary began working for the Oregon Department of Transportation at Farewell Bend.
After some time, the boys took opportunities in Portland. Wanting to be closer to them, Mary and Ron were both able to transfer their jobs to Salem. They settled in Keizer, and in 2003 Mary discovered she had cancer in her left arm. After a year-long bout she made a full recovery.
Mary continued working for ODOT until 2011 when she was diagnosed with leukemia. She moved to Spring, Texas, to receive treatment and be near Shawn and her granddaughter Taylor. Unable to get her disease into remission, she returned to Oregon and spent her last month with her son Matthew and his family in Portland.
Mary had a wonderful smile and contagious laugh. She was a wonderful and loving wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter and friend. Her dedication was to her faith and those closest to her. She was strong in her faith even in her last days.
Her passions included involvment in the various churches througout her life, spending time with relatives close and distant and spoiling both her grandchildren and her puppies.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Ron Carter; and her parents, Jim and Martha Brown.
She is survived by her sons, Matthew and wife Amber, and Shawn Schouviller; grandchildren Tyler, Chase and Taylor; sister, Judy Schaefer; and two nephews, Marley and Ronnie Robinson.