Mary Ann Ohms Lax, 1931-2018, dies

Mary Ann Ohms Lax, 1931-2018, formerly of Isabella MN, passed away on August 30, 2018 surrounded by family at her home in Maple Grove, MN.
Mary is survived by her eight children and their spouses: Lisa Lax (Burlington, VT); Jon Lax and wife Carrie Odgers (Oakland, NJ); Juli and husband Marcel Meilleur (St. Croix, USVI); Susan Lax (Springfield, VT); Jane Lax (Albany, NY); Stacey Lax (Burlington, VT); Jeffrey Lax and wife Marianne (Franconia, NH); and George McNulty, Jr. and wife Tracy (Robbinsdale, MN). Mary is also survived by five grandchildren: Aaron and Jeanna Lax; Mira and Isaac Steinzor; Nathan Lax; and Kellen and Pierce McNulty. She was predeceased by her husband Hilmar Lax (1964), her parents, and four brothers: John, Albert, Robert, and Edward Ohms.
Mary was born Nov. 20, 1931, in Mt Vernon, IL, to Irene Kuenz Ohms and Albert Ohms. She was extraordinary for her numerous talents and skills, her determination to not only survive but thrive through many adversities, her courage, and independence. Her life was marked by dramatic changes, a rich combination of interests and activities, varied places, and the association and friendships with people from many backgrounds. She possessed a keen intellect with a critical perspective. She was also a devoted friend and confidante, who championed the cause of others not respected in society.
After graduating from high school in 1949, Mary achieved her RN certification at St. Johns Nursing School in St Louis. While working as a new nurse, she met her first husband, Hilmar Leonard Lax. They married July 4, 1953, in Mt Vernon, IL, and had seven children together. Sadly, Hilmar died in 1964 at age 37. For a time after this, Mary returned to nursing in the surgical recovery department at St Mary’s Hospital to help support the family.
Mary married her second husband, George McNulty, in January 1967. Their son, George McNulty, Jr., made her brood of eight children complete. The family moved in June 1968 from Missouri to a historic home in Essex, NY, on the shores of Lake Champlain. For the next five years, Mary and her family enjoyed the beauty and unique character of the area.
After divorcing her second husband, Mary moved to Vermont, living for a time in South Burlington, and then St Johnsbury, VT, where she worked as a psychiatric nurse at Northeast Kingdom Community Mental Health Service from 1974-83. During this time, she completed a Bachelor’s degree through Johnson State College adult degree program, and then a self-designed Master’s degree through Goddard College.
After most of her children reached maturity, Mary moved with her youngest son to Littlefork, MN, where she started her next big adventure in life. There, she designed and helped build a home on a bluff above the Big Fork River. She worked for several years as a psychiatric nurse at Lutheran Social Services, and also taught herself the skills to reproduce fine art, while also developing her nature photography skills. She relished the challenges of making a home amongst wildlife, in extreme temperatures, and far away from the amenities of town life. She treasured visits from her children and grandchildren, offering home-baked bread, meals with organically grown vegetables, and family photograph portrait sessions.
In the early 2000s, Mary decided to move to Ely, MN, living initially in town where she further developed her art reproduction business, Thoughtful Times. In 2007, she supervised the building of her dream home outside of Ely on the Stony River.
In February 2018, Mary completed a move to Maple Grove, MN, and with the help of her children, created another comfortable home, a place where she has been able to have family support during her end of life.