LAKE GOGEBIC, Mich. (WJMN) – Mary Lou Driesenga is a remarkable woman according to Lynn Davies. In her nomination, Davies told us Driesenga serves on the Lake Gogebic Area Chamber of Commerce and is the Chief Editor of the Lake Gogebic Times. She also organizes an annual Walleye Tournament, does the local snowmobile trail report, and helps at Ewen-Trout Creek Schools. That’s not all the makes Mary Lou Driesenga remarkable.
“I truly believe the saying, it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Mary Lou Driesenga has spent a lifetime giving back.
“My parents taught us from an early age how to interact with our neighbors.”
When we spoke with Mary Lou, she was in Marquette, buying groceries to supply the concession stand at Ewen-Trout Creek schools.
“A lot of them even call me Granny. They’ll say, “What do you got for me, do you need my help? I’ll always say, what do you think? They’ll get a big grin on their face. They’ll say yea, I think you do. I’ll say you are right.”
With no nearby restaurants, Mary Lou makes sure people find nourishment.
“The woman who has done the food program at school has given me some recipes. We make the best chili in the world. But it’s her recipe, I can’t take any credit for it.”
For the students she works with. They get their fill of pizza, but Mary Lou offers them something extra.
“I taught them that they were special. Every child is special. And I would always praise them, no matter what they did.”
It’s always been a part of Mary Lou’s life.
“There’s always a positive way you can encourage them.”
From being a counselor at Camp Michigamme.
“I taught the girls to value their life. I taught them from the bible how they were created and that they were created for a purpose.”
To teaching others the power of music.
“Fortunately, we grew up in a church that was alive with music. We could just really make that organ hum.”
Mary Lou lets her faith guide her to continue helping neighbors in need.
“So I was thinking, what can we do to make her feel alive? That is so important for older people to feel like they are still valuable. I found her cookbooks. I said, “Lillian, you obviously like to cook and bake.” She said oh yes, that was my favorite thing to do. So out came the recipe books.
Mary Lou and her neighbor Lillian spend time together every other day.
“We still stir everything by hand. I let her do what she can because she’s going to feel better that way.”
With all the ingredients of a life of giving.
“Oh yes, she is in her glory and we just start baking in the morning.”
It’s just some of what makes Mary Lou Driesenga, a remarkable woman.