Mariana Augé died Thursday, August 27th at St. John’s Living Center. She was 87.
Mariana was born Mariana Lawson to Russell and Gladys Lawson on November 4, 1927 in Muncie, Indiana. She was named for both of her grandmothers, Mary and Anna. Her mother, Gladys died when Mariana was three, while giving birth to her little brother David, who also died. Her father remarried a few years later, and Mariana gained her stepmother Beulah, who raised her. Mariana loved being a big sister to her two brothers, Robert and William, who were born to Russell and Beulah.
Her father Russell owned a Chevrolet dealership and a gas station where Mariana worked as a teenager. Russell had been in France during World War I, and had always talked about how much he loved it. This sparked a lifelong love and interest in all things French for Mariana.
She attended William Woods University for junior college in Fulton, Missouri and then DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana She then earned a master’s degree in French from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. By the time she graduated, she had spent time in Europe, as well as two summers in Mexico, and had developed a love of travel.
In 1952, she met and married John Batson. They lived in Memphis, Tennessee for several years while John completed medical school. In 1955, their son John Russell was born and in 1957, a second son, David Timothy. In 1959, the family moved to California, where John became a family doctor. In 1963, their daughter Susan Elizabeth was born. While in California, Mariana was very active in the community with volunteer work, and substitute teaching.
In 1971, they moved to Jackson, Wyoming, where John worked as a general surgeon. They built Mariana’s dream home at Skyline Ranch, where she lived for the next 22 years. In 1975, Mariana and John divorced, and Mariana went back to teaching. She taught high school French, and junior high Spanish. She loved teaching and her students. She made learning fun, and always had a French Christmas party at her home for her students. She also took groups of students to Europe several different summers.
In 1982, she married Earle Augé. She and Earle shared a love for music, the arts, and travel. They attended countless shows and concerts, traveled to many parts of the world, and saw much of North America in their motorhome.
Mariana loved being a grandmother to Jeffrey, Kathleen, Adrienne, and Kathryn. In 1992, granddaughter Amie was born in Arizona, and that is how Earle and Mariana ended up becoming snowbirds and spending their winters in Mesa, Arizona. They had a great time being warm in Arizona in the winter, enjoying the beautiful summers of Jackson Hole, and traveling in their motor home in the spring and fall.
Mariana loved learning and was a lifelong learner. She always took copious notes on any trip they went on, and probably could have written her own travel guides. She continued teaching, offering a Spanish class for the other residents at their retirement park in Arizona. Mariana never met a stranger, and loved talking to and getting to know new friends. She was always adding new names to her never-ending Christmas card list.
Mariana unfortunately, had been battling Alzheimer’s disease for the last 10 years. She had spent the last four years at St. John’s Living Center, after she fell and broke her hip, and needed fulltime care. We’re happy that she’s now free from pain and confusion. We’d like to thank the staff of the Living Center for taking such great care of Mariana.
Mariana was predeceased by her parents, her brother David, and her son Tim. She is survived by Earle, her husband of 33 years, son John, (Joyce) Batson of Jackson, daughter Susan, (Jerry) Wheeler of Chandler, Arizona, granddaughter Amie Wheeler of Tempe, Arizona, brother Robert, (Mary) Lawson of Texas, and brother William, (Sheila) of Florida. She is also survived by two stepsons, David, (Beth) Augé, Jim, (Carolyn) Augé, and stepdaughter Barbara Augé, all of Jackson, their children Jeffrey, (Lori) Bowman of Oklahoma, Kathleen, (Ben) Moran of Tennessee, Adrienne, (Nick) Coca of Jackson, Kathryn Augé of Utah, and four great grandchildren.
Services for Mariana will be on October 3, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Jackson. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Museum of Wildlife Art, P.O. Box 6825 Jackson, Wyoming 83002 or the Alzheimer’s Association of Wyoming 2232 Dell Range Boulevard Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009.