LIMA — It’s nothing for Mary Lou Hullinger to whip up 8 dozen cookies or so to take to church.
Most every Sunday.
“I bake about every day. It’s just relaxing to me,” Hullinger said.
She and her husband, Tom, have attended Bluelick Bible Church for 27 years. She bakes often for church-related events, from Sunday mornings to funeral dinners.
“I take cookies to church for Sunday school every Sunday for my class,” she said.
Hullinger was born near Ada and grew up near Bluffton before moving to Lima and eventually graduating from South High School. She and Tom have been married 62 years, spending 51 of those years in the same home in west Lima. They moved there in 1961 and have in amazement watched the city grow to meet them. Their frontyard faces a busy road, but their backyard is a haven with a waterlily-filled pond.
Hullinger shook off the loneliness of living in the “country,” as her husband took the lone family car to work at Standard Oil, and busied herself with raising their children and working as a receptionist at several area businesses over the years. But when the children flew the nest and she retired, she was left with extra time.
“I had too much spare time, and I don’t like to read, so I bake,” Hullinger said. “I think they probably needed cookies at church. I’ve been baking every day since.”
She has been a quick learner, starting small but gathering recipes from friends and branching out to more complicated baked goods.
“I got recipes galore. I’d like to start a cookbook with all my recipes, but I never have,” she said.
She takes to church, neighbors, even her beauty shop on a weekly basis.
“I usually give everything away,” Hullinger said. “I always tell (Tom) it’s always better to give than to receive.”
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