Mary Ellen Thornburg Puglisi, 94
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Mary Ellen Thornburg Puglisi, 94 of Ashland passed away, Saturday morning, March 16, 2019 in Lutheran Care Village.
Mary Ellen was born on September 22, 1924. She was the fourth child of Paul and Ruth Thornburg. She was born on the Thornburg Homestead, two miles south of Ashland on Route 60.
Mary attended the Brytes one-room school house and graduated from Ashland High School. She attended Ashland College before transferring to the Gradwohl School of Laboratory Technique in St. Louis, MO. After graduation, she worked for the Ashland Co. Health Dept. as head of the Public Health Laboratories, and later as a lead research technician at the Hess and Clark Animal Research Farm in Ashland.
Mary married Eugene Puglisi on the 15th of October, 1949 at the First United Methodist Church of Ashland where she was a member.
She loved animals, and raised chickens, turkeys, and rabbits as a girl. Mary and her husband Eugene, raised and showed dogs. The couple bred and showed some of the first Rottweilers ever imported into the United States from Germany. In 1959, the American Kennel Club showed registrations of 30 Dogs of this breed, the Puglisi's owned half of them. A mama dog named Katjie and her 14 puppies.
Mary was an accomplished horsewoman. She showed her American Saddlebred "Crimson's Red Satin" in five-gaited classes winning many ribbons, she also drover her hackney stallion "Majesty's Masterpiece" in competition.
She was a 39 year proud member of the the Ashland County Democratic Women's Federation and another 10 year member of the Ashland County Democratic Women; feeding hundreds throughout the years with her home made right out of Sicily spaghetti sauce recipe. Mary enjoyed volunteering at the Ashland County Historical Society for many years. She loved gardening and had a huge garden full of vegetables and flowers right up into her late 80s.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene, her parents, her brother Robert, her infant brother Billy, her sister Margaret and niece, Alice Thornburg Fierce.
Mary is survived by the following nieces and nephews; Thomas (Claudia) Thornburg, Charles (Robin) Thornburg, Jane (Bob) Willis, Julia (Gary) Pietruszewski; Mary Leininger (Theron Brayman) of Oak Grove, Oregon, Carol Leininger of Basel Switerzland, Louise Leininger (Steve March) of San Fransisco, California, John Leininger (Barb Burke) of Loudon, Tennesee, Phil (Cynthia) Leininger of Ashland; and many extended family.
Also surviving are Puglisi' nieces and nephews; Pat Poling, Pam Valo, Ron Puglisi, and John Puglisi; and many extended family.
A memorial service celebrating her life will be May 25, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. in the Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home with Reverend Julie Thoms officiating. Interment will be in the Ashland Cemetery. A meal and time of fellowship will follow the service in the Legacy Room of the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ashland County Historical Society, 420 Center Street, Ashland, Ohio 44805.
Online condolences may be shared on the funeral home’s website at denbowfh.com.
Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory is handling the arrangements.