Mary Dinkel




Born: 00/00/1954

Death: December 12, 2008

DINKEL – Mary Dinkel 54 of Ada died peacefully at home on December 12 2008. In later life Mary was a walking miracle outliving her doctors prognosis by more than 7 years through tenacity research and intuition. She learned a lot about herself and lifes priorities during her illness especially the value of honoring her spiritual intuition to guide her life and treatment. She enjoyed many personal and professional accomplishments and died with few regrets. Marys personal life-spark lit up many individual lives as well as any room she entered. She met her beloved husband and closest friend Mark Johnson at a concert when she was in her late 30s. She described Mark as a fabulous father to their twin children Lauren and Will whom she loved from the moment she was pregnant and who were the lights of her life. She had a deep appreciation of motherhood and felt blessed to enjoy thirteen years with her children. Some of her happiest days were spent watching Lauren and Will playing with their dogs and she hereby reminds Mark to spend half an hour walking Champ every day. Mary was smart independent irreverent loving funny and caring. Her gifts were displayed in varied careers as a journalist lawyer and artist. She grew up in Grand Rapids the oldest of 10 children attending St. Thomas School where she wrote and produced plays an early indication of her literary talents. She later was Arts and Entertainment editor of the Western Michigan University student newspaper. Her writings included essays short fiction and poetry. After graduating from WMU she won an Associated Press award for feature articles while on the Decatur Illinois Herald and Review staff. She hit a glass ceiling early in journalism and transferred her writing and analytical skills to the legal profession. After graduating from the St. Louis University School of Law she returned to Grand Rapids and was in private practice for 25 years. Her legal practice was varied and she ultimately hung out her shingle as a sole practitioner. She always tried to help her clients see the light at the end of the tunnel and describes her fellow lawyers as good people doing their best to help their clients. She was active in bar activities at the local and state levels such as the Grand Rapids Bar Association and Women Lawyers Association of Michigan West Michigan Region. She was a card carrying member of the ACLU. When breast cancer forced her to retire from a growing and successful legal practice she was able to explore more fully her artistic side; her paintings are a source of beauty to her family and friends. She was a voracious reader and contemplative writer who perceived the spiritual essence in life and the many people she met. Mary was preceded in death by her father Lawrence Dinkel and her baby sister Betsy. Mary is survived by her husband Mark Johnson and their children Lauren and William Johnson. Other family survivors include her mother Elizabeth Dinkel and siblings Lawrence (Ruth Ann), Cathy (Bruce) Newell Paul Joe (Deb), Chris (Kim), John (Robin), Stephanie and Jennifer (Tim) Brom her mother-in-law Thelma Johnson of Glenarm Maryland many nieces and nephews and extended family members. Mary asks her family and friends to remember that love is everywhere to celebrate her life and help her children recall her personal essence. A child is born the old must die.A time for joy a time to cry. So take it as it passes by and let it be a dance. Visitation will be December 15 from 2-4 & 6-8 PM at the OBrien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel 3980 Cascade Rd SE. Family and friends will pray the Rosary at 6:30 PM followed by a short memorial remembrance service. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Robert of Newminster Church 6477 Ada Drive Ada on December 16 at Rev. R. Louis Stasker presiding. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the William and Lauren Johnson College Fund through Putnam Investments 1430 Monroe Ave NW Grand Rapids 49503 (616) 458-8990 attention John Parras. She loved daisies.

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