Mary Wilkins, age 98 of Midland, passed away Saturday December 26, 2020 at the MidMichigan Medical Center, due to Covid-19. The daughter of the late George and Clara (Loufer) Gerhardt was born in Pinconning on November 21, 1922. Mary married Leonard Wilkins on October 7, 1944 in Pinconning and after 66 years of marriage he died on October 6, 2010.
Mary learned to work hard on the family farm. She started driving the tractor as a young girl and would continue driving her car until she was 95. During World War II, when the men were serving the country, Mary joined many young American women working in the production factories. She helped build 50 caliber machine guns. After starting her family, she returned to work. Mary was employed at VESCIO’S Supermarket for 26 years, retiring in May of 1982.
Mary was a faithful member of St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Church. She enjoyed gardening, playing cards, knitting, crocheting, cooking and baking pies. Mary and Leonard loved dancing, especially the polkas, and going to all the polka festivals. She and Leonard also travelled to many foreign countries with the Senior Center from the Community Center in the 1980’s They visited China, Martinique, Australia, New Zealand, all over Europe and most states in the U.S. Leonard & Mary spent 22 years wintering in Ft. Myers, Florida. With the help of Meals on Wheels, she remained living at home through her 97th birthday. In 2019 she proudly achieved the long-desired goal of being the matriarch of 5 generations.
Surviving are her children; Paula (Ted) Smith, Mark Wilkins (Diane Breternitz), Ann Wilkins (Robin Jacoby); grandchildren, Mike (Amy) Smith, Laura (Scott) Atton, Chad (Amy) Wilkins, Heather (Joe) Rinas, Christopher Hoppe, Emily Lester; 11 great grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren; sister, Helena Szymczak; sister-in-law, Martha Brown and many nieces and nephews.
Per her wishes, cremation has taken place. A celebration of her life and interment of her ashes will be held at a later date. Memorials may be directed to St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Church. Arrangements are under the care of Wilson MILLER Funeral Home. A special thank you to the caring staff at Primrose and Connie Reyes for the care given to Mary.
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St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Church
207 Ashman St., Midland MI 48640