Mary Louise Szymanski, 71, of Gaylord, MI, entered into the arms of the angels Saturday, November 21, 2020 surrounded by her family.  She had a valiant 18 month fight with Cholangiocarcinoma, never complaining or asking “why me”.

Mary was born April 1, 1949, in Saginaw, MI, the daughter of Dominic and Clementine (Napolitano) Rocchio and she graduated in 1967, from St. Mary Cathedral High School in Saginaw, MI.

On June 20, 1969, in Saginaw, MI,  she married her forever love, Chester J. Szymanski, who she celebrated 51 years of a wonderful life with.  Together they traveled all across the U.S visiting 49 of the 50 states, 2 trips to Italy, a trip to Poland, and countless camping trips throughout the UP and lower Michigan.  She pushed and pulled them through all the ups and downs in life, always smiling and making sure a good time was had.

Mary worked at Vance’s Rehabilitation Center for 14 years.  She and Chet owned and operated the Golden Years Daycare together for 10 years out of their home, loving and guiding many children in their care whom she still talked with often. She loved her daycare kids as her own! Mary finished her working career at Alpine Family Medicine as the office manager for Dr. Karen Kolby-Olson & the late Dr. David Olson.

Mary loved life! She had friends everywhere she went and was unconditional in her acceptance of people.  She also loved a house full of people and chaos.  She enjoyed playing on her computer, talking on the phone, going to garage sales and playing games.  She loved each of her children, every grandchild and great grandchild too.  She was so proud of their accomplishments and especially of her favorite son Chet.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband Chet, children Chet (Kelly Anne) Szymanski of Wilton, NY, Joy Breckow of Gaylord, Holly (Ron) Mortensen of Central Lake, Amy (Ryan) Bradfield of Gaylord, son-in-law Harry Breckow of Gaylord, Cuong (Van Nguyen) Van Tran of TX, grandchildren Lauren (Dannon) Shotmiller, Jared (Katy) Szymanski, Jaynee (Kasey) Poel, Isaac (Claudia) Mortensen, Lauren (Marcus) Schuler, Logan Bradfield, Gavin Mortensen, Nicolas Breckow, Connor Bradfield, Justin Breckow, Jacob Szymanski, Shellby and Maranda Dreffs, Kelsey Bradfield, Noah and Hannah Szymanski, Siaharia, Maeleigh, Jason and Mia Bradfield, Kevin Van Tran, and great grandchildren Amelia and Greyson Shotmiller, Aizley Schuler, Mary Kaye Poel, Knox Mortensen, and Benjamin Szymanski.  Also surviving are her brother Dominic Rocchio of Seattle, WA, sisters Antoinette “Toni” (Gary) Talik of Saginaw, and Suzanne (John) Zbercot of Ft. Myers, FL, sister-in-laws Margaret Rocchio of Troy, Sr. Mary Juanita Szymanski of Albuquerque, NM, Martha Reichelderfer of Grayling, Patty (Michael) Samp of Grand Rapids, brother-in-laws Leonard (Joanne) Szymanski and Frank (Brenda) Szymanski both of Alpena, and many loved nieces, nephews, special cousins, and numerous friendships she treasured.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Vincent “Jim” Rocchio, sister-in-law, Carrie Rocchio, in laws Sylvester and Blanche Szymanski, brother-in-law, Fred Reichelderfer, nieces, Janet and Julie Rocchio, nephew, John Rocchio, exchange grandson, Oo Amares Tungpinyosiri, and her dear sweet friend Donna (Michael) McMasters.

A Mass of the Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, November 28, at 11:00 a.m. from Gaylord St. Mary Cathedral with Fr. Robert Gohm and Fr. Chester Collins celebrating. The family will receive friends Friday, November 27,  from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral and again on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.  Family will proceed to Central Lake for interment in Southern Cemetery, immediately following.

Memorial contributions can be given to Gaylord St. Mary’s School, 321 N. Otsego, Ave., Gaylord, MI 49735 or Hospice of Michigan, 989 Spaulding SE, Ada, MI 49301.

Arrangements have been handled by the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.  Please sign her online guestbook

Visitation and Service

St Mary Cathedral

606 N. Ohio Ave.
Gaylord, MI 49735-1999