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Mary Bogust

Obituary of Mary Terese Bogust

Mary Terese Bogust February 4, 1930 to August 29, 2021 Mary Terese Bogust (or Mean Old Mary-M.O.M. to those that love her) was born February 4, 1930 to Francis and Elizabeth Bechely in Los Angeles, California. She was the youngest of four children: Francis, Joseph, and Ellen. Mary was driven and tireless but never let those pursuits get in the way of having a laugh or finding the joy and beauty in life. She was unsuspectingly funny, unpretentious and intolerant of those who were, selfless and dismissive of the selfish, energetic, fearless, smart, and understanding. She loved to travel, to cook, to read, and to garden- although she claimed she was born with a “brown thumb.” She had a magnificent memory – the kind that could recite dozens of simultaneous school and sports schedules but also that could recall in her 90’s- the name of that girl you dated in 7th grade “with straw for brains.” It was all in good fun. She was a natural nurturer – looking after not only her larger family but also feeding, consoling, and cleaning up after a neighborhood of kids, and stealing their pets if they were not given the proper attention. Mary was the rare combination of wholesome and irrepressible. Her free spirit first shined through when at the tender age of 4, she was cajoled by her older siblings into throwing a rock at a police car, breaking its window. A devout Catholic, she pursued the cop car, admitted her crime, and offered the rock to the officer. She often shared that her mother was one of ten children. Mary, herself, grew up next door to an obscenely large family of nine children, so after years of enduring that mayhem – she decided she too would have a large family. She only needed to find the right gentleman to build it with. She graduated from John Marshall High School and then enrolled at L.A. State (now Cal State L.A.) and began working on her Degree in Education, following after her mother who was also a teacher. There she met, Henry J. “Bud” Bogust, the love of her life in the fall of 1951 at a fraternity and sorority mixer. The two were married a year later on November 27, 1952. Mary earned her teaching credential and began teaching in the Whittier School District, supporting Bud while he attended Loyola Law School. When Bud finished law school, Loyola Law awarded her one of her most valued accomplishments – a PHT – Putting Hubby Through. Our dad usually leaned in to give her a kiss every time she brought up her PHT, which was a couple of times a year over the next 67 years. In those 67 years, we never witnessed one argument. They supported each other devoutly. Despite her mastery of the institution, she never offered marriage advice. However, under duress, she reluctantly issued one piece of typically disarming guidance– “Learn when to keep your mouth shut.” Most of us haven’t. Together Bud and Mary raised 14 children- 3 girls and 11 boys, all in a 20-year span with no twins and two sets of “Irish twins.” She valued education immensely, committing to her children that she would send them to any school that they got into – and she did. Despite having a small army to take care of – Mary was the head of multiple PTAs, served as countless class moms and dozens of team moms. She substitute taught for months at a time at the kids’ school – she planned and led field trips, bake sales, school carnivals, school auctions and jog-a-thon’s. Likely exploiting a gap in the time-space continuum, she managed to make breakfast, lunch, dinner, shop for the family, run errands for Bud and the kids, drive the kids to and from school, attend multiple sporting events, help with homework, put the kids to bed, clean the house and spend time with our dad. At one point, she was driving kids to 5 different schools. She never stopped and never asked for a pat on the back. But the food was slop, right? She must have made a lot of casseroles. Fortunately, no. She loved to cook and could make 100’s of recipes from memory- with enough to feed an army. Friends usually started out unsure of whether they wanted to try Chicken Fried Steak, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Egg Flour Soup, or Chocolate Pie with French meringue, but it was a curse once they did. They were soon coming over conveniently around dinner time or returning in the evening for leftovers. What was rarely known by outsiders was the way that mom made every child feel special. She somehow found a moment every few weeks to pull each child aside and spend time with them, asking about their lives, acknowledging their growth, letting them know that they were precious to her, that they were heard, and that they had something unique to offer our family and the world. We all individually treasured these talks and knew how much we mattered to our parents and our family - and how blessed we were to have her as our mother. Bud and Mary had a shared fearlessness. They travelled the world together – taking time away from their adult kids to visit over 100 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America. They always returned home thankful for the freedom and prosperity of America and eager to spend time with their family in La Crescenta, where they lived for 55 years. Mary and Bud’s bond to each other was built on a devotion to their Catholic Faith. The have been loyal parishioners of St. James the Less Catholic Church for 55 years, while supporting other neighboring parishes in their elder years. When in good health, they never missed a Sunday mass in their 67 years – without internet, they sought out and attended services in the U.S.S.R., China, and the jungles of Africa. As our sister, Torrey, has said “They were always a two for one deal.” Mary has rejoined her greatest love, Bud, in heaven where they can continue to teach us all a lesson in kindness, generosity, and love. Bud and Mary are survived by their children: Chris, Torrey, Greg, Gigi (Bridget), Katey, Matt, Judd, Colby, Britt, Jason, and Bart and their respective spouses, and grandchildren: Sam, Pam, Nick, Jack, Matt, Lauren, Makayla, Morgan, Van, Maddie, Josh, Cronin, Keaton, and Reeves. She will be joining Bud and their predeceased sons Brad, Josh, and Jeff in heaven. Her family and many friends will miss her warmth, sincerity, and vivid recollections of family hijinks. Services will be private for immediate family. In lieu of flowers, donations supporting America’s Veterans can be sent to the American Legion at mylegion.org.
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