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Mary L. Szymanski

Mary L. Szymanski

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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 www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.

25 comments on “Mary L. Szymanski”

  1. My condolences and prayers for all of the Szymanski family. I cherish the friendship we had together, working together at Vance’s Rehab for many years. May she rest in peace. I know Mary is having a great time ” seeing” all of those that have passed on ahead of her. She is still smiling and joking with them now!
    God bless all of you.

    • Candice (Clement) Blasich

      My heart breaks for Mary’s family. I was blessed that our paths crossed so many years ago.

      Through your faith I know you with find strength to heal and feel the comfort of God’s love.

      Love to the entire family.

      • Chet, Joy and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Mary was such a loving and caring person. I am grateful of knowing her. May God be with you .

        • Chet and Jenni Krupiarz

          Chet and family, so sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. She was such a wonderful lady. Glad we had the opportunity to know her. Prayers for strength and peace in this difficult time.

          • Duane and Sue Shomock

            Chet and family, our condolences go out to each and every one of you. Mary was such a kind and giving person to all who knew her. I know her precious family and friends were the most important in her life. Mary was a second mom to our daughter, Jamie. May all the memories you have with her stay in your hearts forever, and guide you thru this difficult time. Warmly, Duane & Sue Shomock

            • Richard Becky Shavinski

              Dear Chet, and Family..Just to let you know that your family, at this time, will be in our prayers. Eternal Rest Grant Upon Her Oh Lord. Let perpetual light shine upon her…Dick,Becky Shavinski

              • Chet and family,
                We are so sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. She was a kind person with a beautiful smile. Our hearts go out to you all. Hugs and prayers to each and everyone of you.
                Mark and Karen Lambert

                • Mary and Chet were my neighbors for years, I was shocked to find out that she had passed, praying for the family for peace as you endure this sorrow.

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                • Bernie and Bill Peterson Family

                  Holly, we were so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. May you and your entire family find peace and love in the memories you cherish. With deepest sympathy.

                  • Dear Chet and family. Mary was so gracious bringing many loaves of Italian bread from Saginaw to our family. Our prayers are with all of you, Mary Ellen and Bill Tholl

                    • Chris Lenartowicz and family

                      Dear Chet and family, we were saddened to hear of Mary’s passing. She was quite an AMAZING woman, wife, mother and grandmother, and family was everything to her. You all have a special angel watching over you and yours. I recall her relationship with Donna McMasters; those two were bonded like sisters…very special relationship that you don’t find every day with friends. Knowing she will be very missed. Peace be with you and yours and God Bless All of You.

                      • Chris Lenartowicz and family

                        Dear Chet and family, we were sad to hear of Mary’s passing. She was quite and amazing woman, wife, mother and grandmother and you could tell family was everything to her. You all have a special angel watching over you. I recall her relationship with Donna McMasters; they were bonded like sisters, and you don’t find that every day. Hold on to all those wonderful memories. May peace be with all of you and God Bless.

                        • Mary made me smile everytime I saw her!
                          She loved life, and was always ready to talk and laugh, but Mary mostly loved chatting about her family. She was one proud Mother! God bless you…

                          • Share A Candle: yes
                        • Bonnie and Vaughn Goodenow

                          So very sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. Take comfort that she is in a better place with no more suffering. She was a wonderful person and an inspiration to all who knew her.

                          • Sharon Reganbrown

                            Syzmanski family. I first met all of you when we lived in your neighborhood many years ago. Kids were all young and played together in the streets. Mary could be counted on for help if you needed a sitter or the latest news of the neighborhood. She was in the middle of it and knew everyone. After leaving that neighborhood I always loved running into her and catching up as the years went by.
                            Chet, I am sorry. I know you and Mary had a most special bond as husband and wife. You will miss her terribly. To Mary’s kids, she did love you all so. We are thinking of all of you.
                            Sharon Regan-Brown (Grendel kids)

                            • Michael and Susan Napolitano

                              Dear Chet and Family,

                              I know words can’t take away the hurt you’re feeling, but we want you to know how much we care.

                              Sending you love and strength in this time of loss.

                              Michael and Susan Napolitano

                              • David and Geriann Ellison

                                Dear Chet and family,
                                Mary was such a blessing in this world. We will miss her tremendously. She made the most of her life and always had a positive attitude along with her great smile! Many prayers for you and your family as you go through this sad time. She fought a valiant battle and she’s up there now with Jesus…you can bet on it:)
                                Dave and I will be in touch soon.

                                • Share A Candle: yes
                              • I am truly saddened to hear the news of Mary’s passing and my condolences go out to her husband Chet and immediate family members. May she rest in peace.

                                • Mary was one of those people you were happy to know in life. Her loss will definitely be felt. My condolences to Chet and the whole family. Prayers to you all.

                                  • We just saw this. So sad to hear of Mary’s passing. Our prayers go out to Chet and his family. We lost a good one. Sending prayers. Dennis and Jane Lange

                                    • Mr. Szymanski, I am sorry to hear of the passing of Mrs. Szymanski. I recall her visiting your fifth grade class at St. Mary’s with your young family at the time. I send all of your prayers for strength during this difficult.

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