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Mary Ann (Carlson) Thurston

November 30, 1927 - November 22, 2021



Mary Ann (Carlson) Thurston, of Cadillac, passed away on Monday, November 22, 2021 at Sunnyside Assisted Living. She was 93.

Mary Ann was born November 30, 1927 in Cadillac, Michigan, a daughter of Elden and Marguerite (Taylor) Carlson and lived her whole life in Cadillac.
She was a member of the First Congregational Church. She began her career at the Cadillac State Bank as a bank teller. After a few years, she married Donald E (Don/Thirsty) Thurston in 1950 and became a homemaker. They were a couple in love and enjoyed roller skating at the Spot. Mary Ann loved hosting family reunions in the summer at their home on Pleasant Lake. She was great with numbers whether that be working the cash till, or counting and measuring the bass and walleye she caught in Pleasant Lake, or counting the number of family and friends gathered along the shoreline, or her hand count in bridge or canasta or cribbage, or yelling BINGO.

Her real love was raising their two sons - ensuring everyone was dressed and fed well. Mary Ann's hosting of family gatherings at the lake house included lots of food and games for young and old to enjoy. After the boys left for college, she and Don served in the community showing educational movies at Kirtland Terrace, or helping with Relay for Life, or painting maps of the USA at elementary schools through the Bell Pioneers, or cleaning at the Bay Cliff Health Camp in the U.P., or attending Cadillac Vikings ski meets, baseball or football games and encouraging the players.

Mary Ann never had a driver license so her chauffeur, Thirsty, drove her millions of miles around Michigan shopping and stopping at numerous off the beaten path eating places for 70 years. In her later years you could count on seeing her at their front room picture window looking out at the summer sunsets during the breaks in the Detroit Tigers game and with Lulu at her side.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Don, her sister Catherine Kedrowski, her brother Darwin Carlson; her sister Marge Mattison.

She is survived by her sons Gary (Judy) Thurston of Grand Rapids, MI and Rick Thurston of Cadillac; four grandchildren are Adele, Connor, Devin and Jennise.

There are no plans for a visitation nor a memorial service. An online guestbook is available at

Guest Book

  • Jerry & Diane Leavell - Nov 24th, 2021 5:48 am

    "Mary Ann was always so graciously involved in the lives of her boys, their neighborhood and the Cadillac community as a whole. She was truly interested in the lives of others and was a joy to talk with. Mary Ann has left a precious legacy to those that had the pleasure of knowing her. Kind regards to her family. "

  • Jim Kedrowski - Nov 24th, 2021 5:49 am

    "Aunt Mary Ann was a wonderful aunt. Always smiling and having family to the Pleasant lake house. Enjoyed fishing for Walleye and swimming out to the grass island with Gary and Rick. She will be missed !"

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