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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Mary Beth Lake

Mary Beth Lake
Dr. Mary Beth Lake

Dr. Mary Beth Lake of Ocala, Florida passed away on March 22, 2024, at the age of 92. She follows the death of her husband Richard Lake (d.2015) and her son Brian Lake (d. 2015), and is survived by her daughter Karen (Lake)Puracan, her sister Doris Borsch, her son-in law Jef Puracan, and her grand-daughter Hannah Puracan.

Mary Beth Mohlie was born in Waterloo Iowa in 1932. She spent her childhood in Iowa, enjoying her summers on her grandparents’ farms. In her junior high years, the family moved to Battle Creek Michigan, where she soon met her future husband Richard Lake. Both were in the choir. She took attendance, and Richard “noticed”. They married in 1953.

Mary Beth’s life was centered around two things; family and music. Her academic achievements were many, culminating in a PhD in Music from Michigan State University in 1979, graduating Suma Cum Laude. The family home was filled with glorious music daily. Holidays were spent with choral music to rival that of the heavens.

Mary Beth and Richard were married for 62 years, and they both emphasized “Family First!” always. Sundays were spent at church, where Mary Beth conducted the choirs, and the family joined the choir.

In 1982 Richard and Mary Beth took the family overseas to teach at Silliman University in the Philippines, where Mary Beth taught music, and Richard taught business. MaryBeth also conducted the university church choir, a women’s ensemble, and the university student choir, taking it on national tours. She remained very proud of her many students, and was delighted when they’d keep in touch with her even years later.

In 1991 they retired and moved to Lancaster Pennsylvania. Here she conducted the Lancaster Chamber Singers, and sang in the Wheatland Chorale, a professional choir. In 1995 Mary Beth and Richard moved to Ocala, and lived at Oak Run until 2017. True to form, she took up the baton once again, reviving the Oak Run community choir The Troubadors. She was very proud of this choir.

In keeping with her emphasis on education, Mary Beth was an enthusiastic member of the women’s organization PEO for many years. PEO’s mission is to assist needy and deserving women achieve an education.

In 2017, following the death of both her husband and son Brian in 2015, she sold her house in Oak Run and moved into a home together with her daughter’s family. They lived together until her death.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to MaryBeth’s passion for women’s education. Donations in the form of checks may be made to: PEO INTERNATIONAL PEACE SCHOLARSHIP Please mark checks as “IN MEMORY OF MARY BETH LAKE”

Checks may be sent to: Linda Keller, Executive Treasurer, 3027 Albin Avenue North Port, Florida 34286.