Cover photo for Mary Lou Ring's Obituary
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Mary Lou Ring

January 24, 1937 — February 22, 2024

Appleton

Mary Lou Ring, aged 87, of Appleton, Wisconsin, passed away naturally and peacefully while asleep on February 22, 2024. To her family and friends, Mary - a beloved wife, sister, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother – will be greatly and forever missed, and will surely always be lovingly remembered for her good heart, her character for integrity and resilience, a witty sense-of-humor, and for the sincere love she gave to her family and friends.

Mary’s life began on January 24, 1937, the daughter of the late George and Bertha (Johnson) Luft. From these beginnings, her early years started on a small farming home situated in the rural outskirts of the Ogdensburg, Wisconsin, area. Born in 1937, Mary's earliest years were marked by humble beginnings not all too uncommon of the Great Depression Era, lacking modern conveniences often taken for granted in today’s day and age, such as running water and electricity in her family home. These beginnings instilled in Mary a profound sense of resourcefulness, resilience, and an appreciation for the most meaningful things in life: family and friends. Mary lived in many places, which included various other places in Wisconsin, such as Appleton, Brillion, Princeton, and elsewhere. Aside from Wisconsin, she resided in McAllen, Texas, and Las Vegas, Nevada, for many a year.

Mary’s path throughout her life was one filled with hard work ethics, a sense of adventure, love and laughter (surely complimented by her witty sense-of-humor), and the joy of relationships found in family and friends. Mary married Robert T. Masterson, Sr., with whom she shared four children: Barbara, Timothy, Mark, and the late Robert, Jr. Later in life, Mary met Lawrence “Larry” Ring, the man who would not only become her husband but prove to turn out to be the love of her life.

Indeed, it was in 1965, while waitressing at the Left Guard Charcoal House, in Appleton, then-operated by players of the legendary 1960s-era Green Bay Packers, that Mary met Larry as he worked as a bartender. Telling of what would become their lifelong future together, she, for the entirety of her life, was able to affectionately recall – word-for-word – her first ever exchange with him: Mary, while checking the status of a drink order status, Larry jokingly quipped that perhaps she’d ‘get faster service’ if she ‘tipped the bartender better.’ This exchange exemplified their instant chemistry and the enduring connection that defined their relationship over the next fifty-plus years, blossoming into a lifelong partnership, both in love and business, as they later owned and operated the Crystal Lounge, a popular local watering hole with a convivial atmosphere, in Waupaca for roughly a decade in the 1970-80s. Beyond that, Mary’s personal interests and hobbies included reading, traveling, and antiquing – activities she most often enjoyed with Larry, who had a particular fondness for gifting her jewelry he lovingly chose during their travels and adventures.

At each and every twist or turn in her life’s journey, Mary consistently blessed the world with the essence of the person she was truly: a beautiful woman marked by intellect, class, and grace. She was a pillar of endearment for her family taking pride in her life’s accomplishments and roles as wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, always symbolizing a philosophy of life centered around valuing integrity, self-reliance, and the importance of valuing relationships with family and friends, always ensuring that they felt her love and the warmth of her soul. Indeed, although Mary has left our physical world, her legacy continues to remain within those that truly knew her: a belief that life’s true meaning comes from the relationships we pursue, cherish and nurture.

Mary is survived by her children: Barbara Arnoldussen, Timothy Masterson, and Mark Masterson; grandchildren: Brittney, Jason, Chantal, and Joy; great-grandchildren: Jacob, Ethan, Jada, Neveah, Matthew, Jayvion, Marcus, and Geneva; and her brother: Steve Luft. Mary was preceded in death by her parents: George and Bertha Luft; her son, Robert Masterson, Jr.; her grandson, Collin; and her sisters: Elizabeth (Luft) Miller and Betty (Luft) LaBar; and her brother, David Luft.

A commemoration of Mary will occur privately and amongst close family members in accordance with her personal wishes.

To order memorial trees in memory of Mary Lou Ring, please visit our tree store.

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