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Mary Jane "Jari" Elizabeth Foster Pulford

Mary Jane "Jari" Elizabeth Foster Pulford
  • May 7, 1947 - March 31, 2020
  • Augusta, Michigan
  • Social Ministry Fund at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church
    9800 East BC Avenue
    Richland, MI 49083

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“Mike, I read of the recent loss of your wife. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It has been a long time since we worked together at Borgess. I...Read More »
1 of 24 | Posted by: Deb Spencer - Marcellus, MI

“Mike, I am so sorry to hear about Jari. She was an amazing person who had such an impact on the world. I will be thinking of you, Megan, Sarah and...Read More »
2 of 24 | Posted by: Ruth Zielinski - Richland, MI

“My sincere condolences. I worked with Jari for several years on traffic safety projects and we became friends also. She was so intelligent and she...Read More »
3 of 24 | Posted by: Sue Guggemos - East Lansing, MI

“A beautiful woman and dear friend-we will all miss her so ”
4 of 24 | Posted by: JoAnn Fink - Minneapolis, MN

“Dear Mike and familyI'm sadden by this news. Jari has a special place in my heart. I will always remember her with love and fondness. My best to you...Read More »
5 of 24 | Posted by: Anna Ramirez - Elk Grove, CA

“Mike, I was very saddened to learn of Jari's passing this week. I always enjoyed working with Jari at SWM back in the old days. She was always cool...Read More »
6 of 24 | Posted by: Mike Peikert - Hickory Corners, MI

“I am so sorry for your Mike and family. Be strong, be faithful, love one another. Her memory will never fade. ”
7 of 24 | Posted by: JoAnn Mort - Augusta, MI - Friend

“Enjoyed working with and learning so much from Jari while serving on the Board of Dirctors of SWMs. Jari was instrumental in many aspects of the...Read More »
8 of 24 | Posted by: Kevin Schneider - Vidalia, GA

“What a wonderful life she had! R.I.P Mary Jane ”
9 of 24 | Posted by: Cynthia Wakefield - Hibbing, MN

“Prayers go out to the entire Pulford family from the volunteers and staff of the former Mendon Ambulance Service. ”
10 of 24 | Posted by: Dale Eickhoff - Mendon - Coworker

“Mike and family, praying for you all. Jari was so kind, I always enjoyed seeing her. Sincerely, James ”
11 of 24 | Posted by: James Bray - Portage, MI - Friend

“Jari was an incredible woman,Mom,wife, grandmother and daughter-in-law. We will miss her smile, generous heart, laughter and kindness. I know she is...Read More »
12 of 24 | Posted by: Laureen Pulford - Groton, MA

“Mike: I am so sad reading this. Jari was an incredible woman who was a strong advocate for what was dear to her heart. I still remember her calmness...Read More »
13 of 24 | Posted by: Mary Gillespie-Smith - FL

“Jerry was a great friend and guide in the EMS world. She was truly a special person. Many prayers and all sympathies for you all. ”
14 of 24 | Posted by: Evelyn Barnum - Fenton, MI

“Jari made an early and lasting impression on me, as I'm sure she did with so many others. She was an inspiration and a mentor to a young EMT,...Read More »
15 of 24 | Posted by: Dale Wilson - Delton, MI - Friend

“My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. Met Jari a few times through her son Matt. She was always a cheerful and joyous person. ”
16 of 24 | Posted by: Jacob Longman - Mishawaka, IN

“Worked with her at SWM Systems as the Region 3 Education/Exam Coordinator 2003 - 2005 ”
17 of 24 | Posted by: Paul Sorrell - Toledo, OH

“So sorry to hear, our prayers are with your family ”
18 of 24 | Posted by: Ron Tharge - Otsego, MI - Friend

“I'm so sorry for your loss Mike. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. ”
19 of 24 | Posted by: Marilyn Fallon - Portage, MI

“So sorry to hear this, thoughts and prayers for all who loved her ❤ ”
20 of 24 | Posted by: Ann Stopher

“We will miss you a lot. Your smile and love was on your face all the time. Rest well my friend. Colleen ”
21 of 24 | Posted by: Colleen Reynolds - Richland, MI

“My deepest condolences to the whole Pulford family. Jeri was one of the sweetest ladies I have ever known.She was so proud of her children, who...Read More »
22 of 24 | Posted by: Jack Sizer - Richland, MI

“Jari was a remarkable woman. She was so loving, kind and made us always feel part of her family. Jari you will be missed by all that loved you dearly...Read More »
23 of 24 | Posted by: Lori Bell - Brownstown, MI

“I enjoyed working with Jari for 5 years at SWMEMS. Her quiet wit, dedication to our work was exceptional. An only child I was delighted to see in...Read More »
24 of 24 | Posted by: Christine DeCourtney - Nikiski, AK


Heart Emblem

Mary Jane "Jari" Elizabeth Foster Pulford, age 72, of Augusta sadly passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. She was born in Hibbing, Minnesota on May 7, 1947, the loving daughter of Arthur I. and Margaret C. (Le Claire) Foster. She graduated from Hibbing High School with the class of 1965 and went on to study Social Psychology at St. Olaf College, where she graduated with Honors. She continued her education at the University of Michigan and graduated with a master's degree in Public Health, Health Education and Health Behavior. She had an extensive career in social justice and public health, beginning in Washington D.C. where she helped start the U.S. Navy Race Relations School in Key West, FL in the 70's. After obtaining her MPH, she moved to Lansing and worked for the Michigan Department of Public Health. While there she co-developed the first Michigan State Plan for Emergency Medical Services. She also became a volunteer Paramedic in Grand Ledge, where she met her husband, Mike. In the late 70's she became Executive Director of SWM Systems, the regional EMS agency covering the lower peninsula of Michigan and held that job for the next 30 years. While there she developed Camp 9-1-1, a program to teach children about first aid and safety that is still taught by EMS agencies across Michigan today. Following her retirement from SWM in 2008, she worked as a project manager for Open Doors Kalamazoo, which provides shelter and affordable housing for low-income working people, until her official retirement last year. There she started the "Adopt A Room" program and scholarship fund. She was also an author of many public health articles and the children's book "The World is a Rainbow".

Jari is survived by her beloved husband of 42 years, Michael A. Pulford of Augusta; her children, Megan (Joe) White of Alabama; Sara (Brandon) Harrison of Howell; and Matthew Pulford of Indiana; and grandchildren Maggie, Abby, Tess, Emmy, Hannah, Max, and Lincoln.

Jari was an active member of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Richland, having served on the vestry and social ministry committee. She spent her life as a fierce advocate for social justice. She was an avid reader, expert scrabble player, MENSA member, volunteer, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and loyal friend. Her favorite role was that of "Omma" to her seven grandchildren, whom she adored and spoiled regularly. She enjoyed playing board games, collecting penguin figurines, walks to the MSU Bird Sanctuary, trips to Disney World and Alabama, pontoon rides and relaxing at "pancake island", and bonfires and s'mores with her family. She also loved spending time with her many dear friends.

Guided by her faith, Jari dedicated her life to the service of others and lived by the following principle and favorite quote:
"I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." -Steven Grellet

Due to the recent government regulations regarding gatherings, and the large number of people who knew and loved Jari, a public celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Open Doors Kalamazoo or the Social Ministry Fund at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Richland. Arrangements by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Richland Chapel.