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  • James Townsend

Obituary for Mary Ellen (Kimble) Rios

Mary Ellen Rios, age 70, of Portland, Michigan passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, after a brief illness. Mary was born October 8, 1949, in Ionia, MI to Donald Kimble and Betty (Roetman) Kimble. She spent her childhood in Saranac, MI and was preceded in passing by brothers Donald and David Kimble and sister Phyllis Rausch. She is survived by her sister Ruth Carlson of Deckerville, brothers Tim (Linda) Kimble of Kentwood and Bill (Terri) Kimble of Clinton Township, and sister-in-laws Cynthia Kimble of Westbranch and Ginger Kimble of Bedford, Massachusetts.

Her memory will be cherished and kept alive by her children John "Rick" and Suzanne O'Connell of Eaton Rapids, Kelly (O'Connell) Cooper of Ionia, Alexander and Cara (Soh) Briseno of Brookhaven, Georgia, Andrew Briseno of Ionia, and her evil cat Blondie.

Her grandchildren Ben, Travis, and Ryan Cooper; Rebecca, Samantha, and Cassandra Briseno; Isobel and Ethan Briseno; and Michael and Matthew Jackson were sources of great joy and pride for her.

Mary lived life to the fullest through simple pleasures like gardening, reading, canning, Tiger Baseball, and bird watching and had a love of cooking that she shared with her children. She was always quick to find the humor in life and taught her children that even when things were tough, we were tougher. Music was her solace; especially the Beatles.

She was also a champion for women's rights and found fulfillment later in her career working at Siren/Eaton Shelter where she was happy to be able to help victims of domestic violence.

In lieu of funeral services, and to honor Mary's wishes, the family asks that anyone wishing to honor her memory make memorial contributions to Ionia Commission on Aging, 115 Hudson Street, Ionia, MI 48846 or Siren/Eaton Shelter in Eaton Rapids,

"When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom; Let It Be." Arrangements are entrusted to Lehman Funeral Homes. Online condolences may be made at

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