The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jun. 16, 2024

Mary Catherine Bidlack

Mary Catherine Bidlack, 95, of Van Wert, passed into the arms of her Savior at 10:47 a.m. Tuesday, September 5, 2023.

Born on August 18, 1928, in Van Wert County, she was the daughter of Francis and Hazel (Fox) Martin, who both preceded her in death. Mary wed the love of her life, Norman A. Bidlack, on August 20, 1950. They enjoyed over 65 years together before his passing in 2016. Mary was also preceded in death by their 10-year-old son, Dennis.

Mary Bidlack

Mary will be greatly missed by friends and her surviving family. She leaves behind two daughters; Nancy (Kent) Bowen of Angola, Indiana and Susan (Robert) Brubaker of Van Wert. Grandchildren include Allison (Blaine) Cooper-Surma, Luke (Sarah) Brubaker, Alexis (Philip) Schenck, Leah Brubaker, and great grandchildren Bowen, Bennett, Hannah, and Evan. Also surviving are her sister Delores (Kenneth) Miller, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Mary and Norman had wonderful memories of traveling with family and friends throughout all 50 states and traveled abroad as well. Mary especially loved seeing the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany.

Mary taught third grade at Hoaglin-Jackson School from 1950-1956. After taking time off to raise her family, she continued her teaching career with the Van Wert City Schools from 1968 until her retirement in 1990. She was so good at remembering the names of the many children she taught over the years and cared deeply about each one, wanting nothing but the best for them.

Mary loved anything Norman Rockwell and had an extensive collection that gave her great joy. She also loved her church family and friends and attended Wesley United Methodist Church from the age of two until her passing.

A funeral to celebrate her life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 9, at Wesley Church of Van Wert with the Rev. Clark Williman officiating. Interment will immediately follow in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert. Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Friday, September 8, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Van Wert, and one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials: LifeWise Academy or to Homestead at Towne Center.

Online condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 09/05/23 at 12:14 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries