Mary Ellen Bushemi Cessna’s mission in life was to spread peace and love to those around her, said her son, Kevin Cessna.
“She spread peace among all. She made the good things known and kept the bad to herself,” he said. “She was always the peacemaker.”
Mary Ellen Bushemi Cessna, 89, of Valparaiso and formerly of Gary, died April 5. In 1960 she married Paul Cessna, who preceded her in death in 1986.
She was the youngest of nine children and was very proud of her family and her Italian heritage. She was always involved in her extended family’s activities, going to birthday parties, graduations and First Communions.
“She was close with everyone in her family and kept up with everybody,” he said.
She loved to volunteer and had done so for numerous organizations, including her sorority, Beta Sigma Pi, and her church. She was most recently a member of St. Paul’s parish.
In her 80s, she was a volunteer as an adult aide at St. Agnes Adult Day Care Center.
“She was a volunteer in their Alzheimer’s unit, and she was active until the end,” he said. “She was a woman of faith, and it guided how she lived her life.”
Cessna said his mother lived her life with dignity, wisdom and empathy. He said she was a great role model in how to lead a virtuous life even in the face of adversity.
“She thought everyone had something good to offer. She saw the good in people,” he said. “Hers was not an extraordinary life, but an ordinary life lived in an extraordinary way.”