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Mary Lauster DeLong, 84
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Naples, Fla., resident Mary Lauster DeLong, 84, died at her home Dec. 9 following a brief illness.
She was born Jan. 18, 1931 in Maryland after her father and mother, Herman and Lydia immigrated to the USA from Germany in 1926. After 10 years in the states, the Lauster family along with their two children, Walter and Mary, went back to Germany to continue their missionary work. Paul Lauster was born after their return from Germany.
In 1948, Mary returned to the U.S. to study at Lee College where she met and married Lambert DeLong from the Cedar Grove community in Van Buren County, a graduate of Van Buren County High School. The couple was married June 8, 1951 in Cleveland.
Growing up in Nazi Germany and living through many hardships as result of religious persecution during World War II, her life experience became a motivating factor to give her strength to serve the lost, hurting and needy people for an entire lifetime. Just six weeks after being married, she and her husband sailed to Hamburg, Germany that took seven days to cross the Atlantic and served as missionaries representing the Church of God of Cleveland for 40 years before retirement.
A life-long member of the Church of God, she was the daughter of the late Herman and Lydia Lauster. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Walter and Paul Lauster; sister-in-law, Mevolyn (James R. Haston) and niece, Angela Haston.
She is survived by her husband, Lambert DeLong; five children, Esther (Deiter Mueller) of Ludwigsburg, Germany, Samuel (Carol) DeLong of Nicholasville, Ky., Andrew (Renee) DeLong, Michael (Dana) DeLong and Silvia DeLong of Naples, Fla.; sisters-in-law, Genevieve (Clifford) Bouldin of Spencer, Glenda (Willis) Hale of Merritt Island, Fla.; Cleta (Carl E.) Bouldin of McMinnville, Bobbie Lauster of Lakeland, Fla., and Lilli Lauster of Cleveland; brother-in-law, Charlie (Carolyn) DeLong of McMinnville; 13 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, several nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Locust Street Church of God with family members and Billy Campbell officiating. Memorial donations may be made to missions.