In Memory of




Obituary for Mary Lou Kwiatkowski

(nee Markham)
February 19, 1934 - April 18, 2023

Sometimes God puts an angel on earth to serve as a light for the rest of us to follow. Mary Lou was one of those angels. Of course, if you told her that, this angel would never agree. Her humble way was just one of the reasons we loved her and called her Mom, sister, aunt and friend. She left us to join her fellow angels on April 18, 2023 at the age of 89 at the Erie Shores Hospice in Leamington, Ontario.

Mary Lou Alice Markham was born on February 19, 1934 to James and Marie Markham and was a farm girl in Maidstone, Ontario until she was 19 years old. During that time her parents introduced her to a life filled with faith and daily devotions coupled with hard work that she carried with her all the rest of her days. Mary Lou was born during a winter so deeply cold that, for only the second time in recorded history, Lake Ontario froze completely over! Maybe that was the start of the resiliency that would characterize the rest of her life. There were lots of challenges in her life but her faith, her fearlessness, her hard work and sacrifices, her uncompromising love and support for her children and grandchildren, the companionship and love of her own sisters and brothers and her friends and church community helped her set her course.

James and Marie gave us a very large and loving family. Mary Lou was one of 13 children. She was predeceased by 4 brothers, Jim (late Evelyn, late Margaret), Earl (Flora), John and Robert and 2 sisters, Jeanne (late Edmond) and Patricia. She is survived by 3 sisters, Shirley, Carol (Martin) and Judy (Richard) and 3 brothers, Edward (Kim), Michael (Theresa) and Thomas (Deborah). Because of so many loving, and loved, brothers and sisters, Mary Lou had a cast of nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews, great-grand nieces and great-grand nephews too numerous to name.

Mary Lou was a hero and inspiration to all her 8 children. Trying to live up to her shining example are Donna, Linda (Ken), Mark (Patricia), Joanne (Michael), Beverly, Andrew, Patrick (Tammy) and Steven (Jackie). There are 17 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren who will all miss her smiles, hugs and quiet encouragement. We will try to continue the big family dinners with a volume level that rivals a hockey arena during the playoffs!

Many, many thanks to the remarkable and caring nurses, doctors and volunteers at the Erie Shores Hospice. They cared for her family as much as they cared for Mary Lou. For those who wish, in lieu of flowers, donations in Mary Lou's honour can be made to The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County Inc.

Visitations will be held at Kennedy Funeral Home, 128 Talbot Street N., Essex, Ontario on Thursday, April 20, 2023 between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Funeral mass will be held at Holy Name of Jesus Roman Catholic Church, 146 Talbot Street S., Essex, Ontario on Friday, April 21, 2023 at 11:00 am. Visiting begins at the church at 10:00 am. Interment to follow at St. Mary's Cemetery, 12200 County Road 34, Maidstone, Ontario.

A mother's love lives on in the lives of her children and grandchildren. We will remember the lessons you taught us. Nothing is impossible. You're never too old to start on a new path or career or to try something new (like zip-lining) or visit a distant land. Do it now because you don't know what tomorrow brings you. And, oh yeah, laugh!

Mary Lou, your angel light shines on.