Cover photo for Mary Baenen's Obituary
Mary Baenen Profile Photo
1957 Mary 2022

Mary Baenen

November 5, 1957 — April 19, 2022

Our beloved Mary Baenen has been known as daughter, wife, Mama, Nana Mary, cherished friend and health care provider to countless people. She was love, generosity and compassion personified. With her huge heart and energy, the love she extended to people who came into her orbit, tireless activism, and a natural wellness practice, Mary had won the hearts of the steady stream of friends coming to visit in the last weeks of her life. She died barely two months after the first symptoms of the brain tumor that ended her life. We are heartbroken at her passing on April 19, 2022, and comforted by the immense love and tenderness surrounding her as she lived out her days being beautifully cared for at home.

Mary was born in Libby, Montana, on November 5, 1957, to Benjamin and Audrey Baenen. After two unfulfilling years of college in Montana, Mary met a prominent naturopath who awakened in her a desire to better understand natural wellness, which became and remained an important part of her life.

In 1986, she married Paul Johnson of Libby and in due time welcomed daughter and son, Aleta and Dylan, into the world. Mary was a loving and devoted mother, choosing to homeschool her children for several years. After her marriage to Paul ended, she moved to Sandpoint and enrolled Aleta and Dylan in the Waldorf school. It was there, in 2001, that she met her soulmate Gerald Fluhrer, a teacher at the school. Mary’s love and family soon extended to Gerald and his daughter Sophie.

Mary is survived by her husband Gerald Fluhrer, stepdaughter Sophie Fluhrer, daughter Aleta Davis (Shawn), their children Galton, Arden, and Agatha of Libby, Montana, and half-sister Shirley Cripe of Tri-Cities, WA. Her beautiful son Dylan died tragically only three days after Mary’s passing.

Much of Mary’s energy in the last two decades in Sandpoint was devoted to activism. After researching the effects of the addition of fluoride to the public water supply, Mary successfully lobbied to have the practice stopped in the city of Sandpoint. When she learned in 2016 that Avista wanted to install a smart meter at the family home, she wrote them a letter politely declining. When they installed one anyway when no one was home, Mary dismantled it, packed it up and mailed it back to Avista with a letter and research showing deleterious effects on humans, animals and bees of the radiation emitted by smart meters. She was courteous and obdurate, useful traits for an ardent activist. One friend described her as “a brave lady warrior fearlessly fighting for the truth.”

Mary was a licensed homeopath and licensed NST/Bowen Bodywork practitioner. In 2013 she founded Fourfold Wellness, where she offered alternatives to mainstream vaccinations and helped many people suffering from electromagnetic hypersensitivity. She was well-informed about the health issues surrounding electromagnetic frequencies, microwaves, and cell phone radiation, and became a key figure in local opposition to the widespread introduction of smart meters and 5G cell towers. Yes, Mary used computers, but was proudly wired at work and at home, making the family home and gardens a cell-phone free zone and bee sanctuary. With husband Gerald she studied the works of Rudolph Steiner, founder of Anthroposophy, and practiced biodynamic agriculture, which employs spiritual principles along with organic and non-GMO practices.

For all her fierce and serious devotion to various causes, Mary was also fun and funny. She had a special streak of mischief that made everyone laugh and a secret ability to blow perfect smoke rings. Whether speaking or singing, her voice had a musical sweetness, and she met weekly for years with a group of friends to sing, just for fun. She also sang occasionally with the Pend Oreille Chorale and a local Threshold Choir.

What we will always be in awe of about our beloved Mary is how deeply she cared for others and how this was infinitely expressed in her life, family, relationships, work, play, activism, and way of being. She will be sorely missed.

A celebration of Mary’s life is being planned for Saturday, July 16, 2022, with invitation and details to be announced.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Baenen, please visit our flower store.


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