Mary Bastian

Resided in Gladstone, MI
Died April 27, 2024

Mary K. Bastian, age 71, of Gladstone passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at the UP Health System in Marquette.

Mary was born July 18, 1952 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the daughter of Frank and Marilyn (Stigers) Bastian. She attended the Wayland Union High School and graduated in 1970. In 1972 she graduated from Grand Rapids Community College with an Associate Degree in Music and in 1974 graduated from NMU with a Master’s Degree. She started teaching at the North Central Schools for 9 years and then in lower Michigan at the Fulton Schools for 11 years. She worked at Marshall Music as Band instructor and repair tech for 7 years then moved to Gladstone. She was the music teacher for Rapid River Schools for 7 years, retiring in 2009. Mary had one final teaching stint for the Wells Township School District in Arnold, MI, teaching music and band from 2018 to 2023. In addition to teaching, Mary performed with many ensembles including the Central Michigan Area Community Band, DeWitt Community Band, Alma Symphony, Gratiot County Players Pit Orchestra, Clinton County Players Pit Orchestra, Players de Noc Pit Orchestra, Escanaba City Band, Superior String Alliance Orchestra, Attic Brass and Bay de Noc Choral Society. She also served on the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association and worked for Jim’s Music as a repair tech and teacher.

Mary was a  member of the Michigan Federation of Business and Professional Women, was an Election Worker for Pine River Township in Gratiot County, served on the United Way Advisory Board in Gratiot County, served with the Eastminster Presbyterian Church and Alma United Methodist Church in Alma, MI, the Salisbury United Methodist Church in Ishpeming, MI, the First Lutheran Church and Memorial United Methodist Church in Gladstone. Mary enjoyed spending time with family and friends, camping, gardening, reading, embroidery and traveling. Her travels took her to 46 states, 5 provinces and 1 territory in Canada, 4 states in Mexico and 6 countries in Europe.

 Mary had a smile that lit up a room and a laugh that was infectious.

 Mary is survived by her brother, Paul Bastian of Dorr, MI, niece, Rachel Taylor,  cousins and friends.

 She was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents.

 The family will receive friends on Saturday, May 25 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Memorial United Methodist Church, 1920 Lakeshore Drive in Gladstone with services to follow at 12:00 PM with Pastor Terri Branstrom officiating. Mary will be laid to rest in the Memorial United Methodist Memorial Gardens. A luncheon will follow the services in the fellowship hall.

Memorial contributions in Mary’s name can be directed to Memorial United Methodist Church, Delta County Community Foundation or NMU’s Music Department.

6 Tributes for “Mary Bastian

    You will be sadly missed. The profound impact that you had on the students and staff at Wells Township School goes above and beyond the normal music teacher. You shared years of wisdom with strong dedication and passion to all! You taught the students how to perform and to do it well! You instilled a love of music in each and every student that you were blessed to work with. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of everyone that you worked with. Your legacy of harmony and encouragement will continue to resonate in the hearts and minds of those you have touched. Forever remembered, forever missed.

    I recently learned the news of Mary’s passing, very sad. I called on the Rapid River schools while Mary taught there and eventually Mary and I ended up working for Jim’s Music doing repair work to all types of musical instruments. If we weren’t talking about various repair work or music we were talking about camping. She would tell me about all the places she had been and was planning on going to. We’d talk about our camping rigs, her with her various trailers and me with my pickup truck camper. Mary’s laugh was definitely infectious! She will be greatly missed. My condolences to her brother Paul and his family she spoke of you often.

    Mary was a delightful person, with a quick smile and kind words for everyone she met. She had a true passion for music, and she had a tremendous impact upon so many students throughout her career as a music educator. The faculty in the NMU Department of Music mourn her loss, and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. She will be missed.

    I loved Mary. I will miss our conversations. We spoke of everything from music to camping. She loved her bicycle and the outdoors so much. She introduced me to her foreign exchange student and rented skis for her.I bought my camper from this beautiful woman. Rest in peace..

    Mary Bastian was the very first person to teach me what music could be if I put in the effort. A rare band director that could do more with less and turned them into award-winning programs. She introduced me to Drum Corps International and encouraged me to audition. Once accepted, that led to a 30 year music teaching career and 10 years of judging high school music contests nationally. The very first Symphony concert I played in, there she was, sitting in the audience. I owe her so much. I will miss her.

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