APPELHOF, Mary Arlene, Age 68
Died Wednesday, May 4, 2005, at Rochester Methodist (Mayo Clinic) Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. Mary was born June 11, 1936, to Gilbert Jr. and Hilda Appelhof in Detroit, Michigan. She was raised in Alma, MI and Berea, Ohio, graduating from Berea High School in 1954. She continued her education at Michigan State University, graduating "with honors" in 1958 with a BS degree, having majored in biology. She achieved a Master's Degree from MSU the following year. Mary went on to teach at the high school level at Central High in Kalamazoo and at Interlochen Arts Academy. She left IAA to return to MSU, where she achieved a second Master's degree and then continued on for five years of PH.D studies. These advanced studies in biology led her to a fascination with worms and the potential they might have for recycling organic waste. She developed a worm composting system; then began marketing worms on a commercial scale, along with her specially designed composting bins. She promoted her environmental-friendly process with the publication of her book entitled: "Worms Eat My Garbage" (1982.) Originally published by "Flowerfield Enterprises", her own publishing company, the book has been widely distributed nationally and now internationally. Her scientific studies have led to her recognition as the leader in the field of vericomposting, and her reputation has led to her affectionate title: "Worm Woman." Mary leaves her life partner of 24 years, Mary Frances Fenton, of Kalamazoo. Fenton illustrated the first book and co-authored and illustrated: Worms Eat Our Garbage: Classroom Activities for a Better Environment, also co-authored by Dr. Barbara Loss Harris (WMU). Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Gilbert and Hilda Appelhof. She is survived by her brothers, Alan (Joanne) of Beulah, MI and David (Diane) of Independence, Minnesota. Private graveside services will be held at the Benzonia Cemetery on Tuesday, May 10, 2005. A memorial service will be held in Kalamazoo at a later date. Memorial donations to the KGL Resources Center, 629 Pioneer St., Kalamazoo, MI 49008 or Kalamazoo Puskin Partners, 7133 Lakeridge Place, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Arrangements are being handled by the Bennett Barz Funeral Home in Beulah.
Published in the Kalamazoo Gazette on 5/10/2005. (Posted by a volunteer-no family connection)