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Welcome to the memorial page for

Mary Grace Ehrnst

February 8, 1920 ~ March 28, 2017 (age 97)

Mary Grace Christy Ehrnst, age 94, died at her final residence in Petoskey, MI.  Mary and her husband, Harry, lived in Flint, MI where they built family operated Ehrnst Motel for 38 years. Mary and Harry retired from business in 1989.  By her own request, Mary wished to be cremated and then be interred with a simple graveside funeral service at the Sims Whitney Cemetery in Au Gres, MI, overlooking Lake Huron.  A celebration of life and services will be held this upcoming spring for her family and friends to remember her.

Mary was born in Brooklyn, NY on February 8, 1920 to parents James P. Christy and Charlotte (Pardy) Christy.  While her father was a Silver Star decorated WWI veteran and NYC fireman, her mother focused on raising four children, James, Mary, Teresa, and Charlotte.   Mary graduated Andrew Jackson High School and started work for William Stevens, a cotton broker who was a close friend of Bernard Baruch.  As an apprentice, she learned to save and invest in the stock markets.  She met her future husband, Harry, at a USO dance, during a break for Harry’s officer training in 1943 before being deployed in the Pacific theater for WWII.  For their first date, Harry took Mary to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), thereby impressing her with his interest in the more sophisticated things in life. They kept in touch through many letters, married in 1948, and ultimately relocated to Flint, Michigan to raise a family.  Mary took great pride in raising her family of four children – Stephen, James, Mary and Craig.  During her pregnancy with her last child, she completed her college bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, Flint campus in 1964.  

Mary always enjoyed travelling and continued to make numerous overseas trips after retirement with her husband.   She continued to enjoy the sports of snow skiing, ice skating, roller skating and biking while living in retirement in Grand Blanc, MI for many years.  She was very active with the Flint Institute of Arts, the University of Michigan-Flint campus senior exercise programs and a frequent visitor to the Grand Blanc McFarlen Library.  Mary loved reading, learning, and investing in the stock markets.  Mary guided her life with a simple principle  – listen carefully to others and you can learn something new everyday.

Mary Ehrnst is survived by his four children and their spouses: Stephen and Judy, James and Debora, Mary Frances and Ben, and Craig and Julissa.  Eight grandchildren: Elizabeth, Amanda, Andrew, Dylan, Trevor, Elena, Sophia, and Eric.  Three great-grandchildren: Weston, Rhodes and Abraham.

Finally, Mary and Harry were married for 66 years.  Following Harry’s passing in 2014, Mary’s love for Harry was never forgotten as she passed away one week following Harry’s expected birthday.   Mary wished to thank all of the doctors, nurses, and assistants who cared for her and Harry.  Mary kindly requested that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Teresa E. Christy Award Fund, which was established in honor of the untimely passing of Mary’s sister Teresa.  The Teresa E. Christy award is annually presented to the registered nurse who has demonstrated professional commitment to the improvement of health care and the interrelationship of nursing education, nursing practice, and nursing research.   Donations can be mailed to the American Association for the History of Nursing (AAHN), Attn: Teresa E. Christy Award fund, 10200 W. 44th Avenue, Suite 304, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.  To learn more about the importance of nursing, please go to www.aahn.org. 


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