Mary Louise Roberts Oswald

April 24, 1919 ~ December 29, 2019 (age 100)


Our dear Mother, Mary, passed on December 29th at the age of 100. Mom was born in Grand Junction, Colorado on April 24, 1919 to Eugene and Mary Roberts. Her family moved to Cle Elum, Washington where Mom and her three sisters spent their childhood and young adult lives.

It was in Cle Elum that Mom met Bernard (Bud) Oswald, who would become the love of her life. Bud was an early aviation pioneer in Washington and had relocated from Tacoma to Cle Elum following Pearl Harbor to instruct pilots in the Civilian Pilots Program. Mom decided she wanted to get to know him a little better so she signed up for flying lessons. Mom wasn’t much of a daredevil so we were shocked to learn that she did this. She only took one lesson!

  They wed in 1943 and moved to Renton and then Tacoma. Together they raised six children and operated Oswald Flying Service from 1946-1973. In retirement they moved to Yakima, WA because the sun came out most every day. They lived there until 1987 when they returned to the Tacoma area settling in Lakewood where Mary continued to live after Dad’s passing in November 2002.

Besides keeping up with six children and all their shenanigans, Mary used her bookkeeping skills to manage not only the household budget, but that of the airport for all the years it was in operation. She was adept at all aspects of accounting and utilized them up until her last few years to keep her finances in order-even balancing her checkbook each month.

Being from an Italian family Mom learned culinary skills from our Nana. And she learned them well-Mom made the best spaghetti sauce and raviolis of anyone! When our out-of-state relatives visited, they couldn’t wait to enjoy her homemade Italian dinners. She also developed quite a reputation for her pies—with perfect crusts and delicious fillings, she never failed to make Dad quite happy.

Family was very important to Mom. She and Dad made certain that we children knew we were loved. They provided us with a solid Catholic foundation, taught us the importance of kindness to others, being responsible, the value of work, and doing the right thing. We are forever grateful for their love and guidance.

Mom was a strong, independent lady with a loving, gentle nature who lived to be 100+ years. Her large family celebrated her special birthday and beautiful life in April. It was quite an honor to be with her on this occasion. She will be missed greatly by those who were blessed to know and love her.

Mary is predeceased by her husband, Bernard, her parents, her sisters: Rose Paskiewitz, Lena Dalisky Hinshaw, and Gena Bailey, her daughter, Cathy Robinson, her son, Al Oswald, and her son-in-law, Bryce Robinson.

Mary is survived by daughter, Pat Zenzen (Lou) of Fremont, CA, daughter Peg Oswald of Steilacoom, son Gene Oswald (Marci) of Lakewood, and son Tim Oswald (Christie) of Calabasas, CA., and sister-in-law Mary Ann Oswald of Tacoma. She is also survived by her fifteen grandchildren, 23 greatgrandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A Vigil (Rosary) service will be held on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 7:00 St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Lakewood. Mom’s Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Friday, January 10, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Church. A reception will follow the Mass in the Parish Hall.

The family wishes to thank the staff at St. Claire Hospital for providing excellent and attentive care for Mom and especially Glenda Shepard of the St. Claire Palliative Care Team for her support and caring. We also thank Mom’s in-home caregivers especially her most recent caregivers Deanna Scalf and Yuri Perez-Marrick who lovingly cared for Mom. She very much enjoyed their company and we are grateful for their devotion to Mom.

Pat, Gene, and Tim are especially appreciative and grateful for the wonderful care and support Peg has given Mom for so many years. She has been totally unselfish in her love, attention, and “being there” for Mom in all ways. 

Donations in Mom’s memory may be made to the Franciscan Foundation in support of the Franciscan Hospice. The family also wishes to thank the nursing staff at the Franciscan Hospice House in University Place for their kind support.

May God Bless Our Dear Mother

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Louise Roberts Oswald, please visit our floral store.


Recitation of the Rosary
January 9, 2020

7:00 PM
St. Frances Cabrini Church

Funeral Mass
January 10, 2020

11:00 AM
St. Frances Cabrini Church

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