Mary Kay Aho

Mary Kay Aho, age 67, of Rudyard, Michigan, died on January 22, 2022, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. She was born on February 1, 1954, in Sault Ste. Marie, to Glen Rye and Theresa Marie (Vigneaux) McDowell.

Mary Kay grew up in Rudyard, Michigan, and graduated from Rudyard High School. She attended Lake Superior State University and Western Michigan University, where she received a bachelor’s in education. She taught for several years in Petoskey, Michigan, and returned to Rudyard a few years later to help with bookkeeping for her father’s business, McDowell Equipment. There, she met the love of her life, Ernest Edward Aho, and they married on February 24, 1979. They built a home south of Rudyard and began their family, raising two children. In 1988, Mary Kay started working at Rudyard Area Schools and for nearly thirty years worked as a long-term special education substitute teacher and library clerk, retiring in 2017.

Mary Kay was a long-term member and past president of the Friends of the Library in Rudyard. She also was a proud supporter of the New Hope Community Church in Kinross, Michigan. She led many bible studies throughout the years.

Mary Kay loved gardening, knitting, reading, baking, and scrapbooking. Most of all, Mary Kay loved Ernie, her children, grandchildren, siblings, and extended family.

Mary Kay is survived by her husband, Ernest Aho; son, Matthew (Stacey) Aho of Fredonia, Wisconsin; daughter, Jenna (Jan-Michael) Stump of Traverse City, Michigan; grandchildren, Aurora Aho, Meadow Aho, Jack Stump, and Michael Stump; brothers, Gary (Carrie) McDowell, Bob (Bernadette) McDowell, Ron McDowell, Jim McDowell all of Rudyard, Kevin (Kristen) McDowell of Gaston, Oregon; sisters, JoAnn (Walt) Betcher of Trout Lake, Michigan, Karen (Dick) Boncek of New Britain, Connecticut, Annette (Bob) Malaski of Rudyard, Susan Wilds of Sault Ste. Marie; sister-in-law Shirley (Don) Nelson of Abbotsford, Wisconsin; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great nephews, great-great nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be held on January 29, 2022, from 11:00 AM till 1:00 PM at Galer Funeral Home in Pickford, Michigan, with the funeral service to follow at 1:00 PM. The family respectfully asks that masks be worn.

Burial will be at N. Rudyard Cemetery in the Spring.

Memorial donations can be made to the Rudyard Public Library in Mary Kay’s honor

Galer Funeral Homes & Cremation in Pickford, Michigan is serving the family. Condolences may be sent to the family at

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