Mary was born May 29, 1931, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Gertrude and Edward Henke. The middle child of seven, Mom told many stories of good times and laughter with her brother and 5 sisters.
At a fateful high school graduation party, she met and fell for Ralph Martin. They were married July 18, 1951. They spent the next 22 years moving wherever the Air Force sent them. Mom spoke fondly of the many people that their lifestyle put into their path. There were seven bases and seven children before Dad retired in 1973, making their permanent home in Lakewood, Washington.
When the kids were all of school age, Mom went to school herself to study nursing. She was the top of her class and was immediately hired by Lakewood General Hospital (now St. Clare) upon completion of her LPN program in 1975. If anyone ever asked, she would gladly tell them that LPN stood for "Low Paid Nurse." Mom loved a good joke and was known to always be ready with one for her coworkers and doctors.
Mary was an active volunteer at their parish, St. Frances Cabrini. When she retired from nursing in 1993, her involvement increased with work at the local foodbank and a multi-denomination community Outreach Program and ultimately Lakewood Area Shelter Association. She was incredibly proud of the work the area churches did to serve the needs of the community.
Above everything, Mary excelled at keeping her family together through monthly birthday dinners, holiday celebrations and annual camping trips. Feeding groups of 20+ was a regular occurrence and didn't phase her one bit. There was always room at the table for one more and she got great joy from having her family around one very long table and looking proudly at Dad at the other end.
Heart surgery in 2010 and a subsequent stroke largely curtailed Mom's ability to be involved in her many volunteer pursuits. She was ultimately overcome with the complications of congestive heart failure but was able to stay at home until the very end. She died peacefully on the morning of November 6, 2018 surrounded by family.
Mary is survived by Ralph Martin, her loving husband of 67 years 3 months and 19 days, her children and their families: Beverley and Michael Krashin and their daughter Theresa Council (Jesse); Angela Martin; Michael and Veronica Martin; Kevin and Lynn Martin and their children Isaac (Kiri) Martin (children Heidi and Mira) and Lauren (Josh) Hammons (children Jayden and Henry); Steven and Pam Martin and their children Haley (Kyle) Haller (children Carlyn, Kasen and Tenley) and Kellie Martin; Matthew and Karen Martin and their children Ryan (Taniesha) Matthews, Erica (Blake) Losvar (children Dylan and Isabella) and Lyndsay (Lucas) Buol (children Tyler, Hunter, Austin and Olivia); Christine and Mark Eberlein and their children Thomas, Gregory and Emily Eberlein.
She also leaves sisters Elizabeth Leuch, Audrey (Bob) Rose and Vera (Paul) Stewart with numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by older siblings Edward Henke, Gertrude McEvoy and Grace Yaksich.
The family would like to express a special thank you to the many healthcare professionals at Madigan Army Hospital, especially Ms. Kathy White, ARNP, for their exemplary care.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 11:00 AM, rosary at 10:30, at St. Frances Cabrini Church, 5715 108th St SW, Lakewood, WA 98499. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Mary's name to Catholic Community Services. https://ccsww.org/ Internment will be at Tahoma National Cemetery.
Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 11:00am
St. Frances Cabrini
5505 108th ST SW
Lakewood, WA 98499
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Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 11:00 AM, rosary at 10:30, at St. Frances Cabrini Church, 5715 108th St SW, Lakewood, WA 98499. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Mary’s name to Catholic Community Services. https://ccsww.org/ Internment will be at Tahoma National Cemetery.