Mary Jane Murray, 90, “Huggie the Clown”, went home to be with the Lord on April 11, 2022, Mary Jane was a resident at the Altercare Zanesville Nursing Home, where she resided 4 years.
She was born July 31, 1931, in Newark, Ohio, the daughter of Frankie and Curley Kidwell.
Her mother named her “Mary Jane” but God named her “Huggie.” Huggie was born in the mid-1950s when Mary Jane was in a home for battered women. She was asked to take care of the children in the home while the other women were out looking for jobs. The director of the shelter gave her a pair of red pajamas, a wig, painted her nose red, and penciled on eyebrows. Huggie was born. The shelters were like underground railroads, shipping battered women from place to place. Huggie was shipped to Muncie, Indiana. There she met a magician who taught her how to dress up as a clown – a real clown. He taught her powder down, use the right kind of makeup (theatrical grease paint), and gave her a bright yellow wig to wear. Huggie made her own costume. All the while, God was guiding her. God showed her how to do things right. She was to always be happy, always smile, say God bless you, and always give a hug. That’s why God called her “Huggie.” Huggie went into hospitals, orphanages, jails, schools, carnivals, and fairs all across the state of Indiana. She gave lectures at Ball State University on domestic violence and child abuse. Every time she put on her makeup, she would stand in front of the mirror and she would say “God guide my hands and make me the best clown that I can be and I will go in your name.” And that’s the way she went. She prayed with people, she smiled, she said “God bless you,” and she always gave a hug. God was with her. Oh, how she loved God. If you are reading this, know that Huggie is now with God. Wrap your arms around yourself, give yourself the tightest hug, and know that God loved you, and so does Huggie.
Huggie loved to make people smile: she as a clown for 30 years and performed professionally at numerous venues from Ohio to Indiana. She often would visit the residents in the nursing home and have prayer with them.
Mary Jane attended Cleveland High School, and Ball State University.
She is survived by her children, Timothy (Diane), Terry Ashworth (Bob), Patrick (Kelly), Kelly Pickens, Shaun Murray- Paul (Chris), Heather Sandlin (Ronald Nelson) and David Bird (Susan); several grandchildren and great- grandchildren
Besides her parents she was preceded in death by her daughter, Shirley Ann Pierse, and son Michael Murray.
Family and Friends may call from 1pm-2pm with funeral service at 2:00pm with Pastor Brian Dutiel officiating on Saturday, April 16, 2022 at the Roberts-Winegardner Funeral Home, 304 Mill Street, New Lexington, Ohio.
Burial will follow in the Kidwell Family Cemetery, Bristol, Ohio.
Online register book and obituary at www.robertfunerlahonenewlex.com
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