Mary Dolores Dean



Memorial Contributions:

The Killgoar Education Foundation for IHM School

1935 Plymouth Ave. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Mary Dolores Gartner Dean, age 98 of Grand Rapids, Michigan passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus, surrounded by her family on September 13, 2023.

Mary is survived by her children, Mary Dolores (Patrick) Norton, Mary Patricia (Ronald) Sanders, James (Carol) Dean Jr., Elizabeth (Richard) Zambon, Margaret (Leo) McCormick, Ellen (Scott) Alvesteffer, Thomas (Kay) Dean, Anne (David) Nachtegall, William (Joan) Dean, Martha McKeiver, and Karla (Richard) Collins; her sister, Anne Sims; 38 grandchildren; 54 Great Grandchildren; and many nieces and a nephew. Mary was preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, James; parents, Karl and Anne Gartner, brother and sister-in-law, Karl and Helen Gartner; brother-in-law, Murray Sims, parents-in-law; Vernon and Olive Dean; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Vernon and Marjorie Dean; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Rita and Ed Stephens.

Mary was born and raised in St. Charles, Illinois, above the bakery owned by her father. It was here, in this home, that she developed her love and talent for baking. Mary entered the Cadet Nurses program in 1944 during WWII and received her RN degree from Little Company of Mary School of Nursing. She moved to Grand Rapids in 1946 when she married her beloved husband, Jim. Together they raised 11 children. Many happy summers were spent as a family at their cabin on Wolf Lake, in Baldwin, MI. After 23 years raising her family, Mary took a nursing refresher course and started work at St. Mary’s Hospital. She worked as a float nurse as well as in the ICU and finally in the Radiology Department until her retirement in 1991. She kept busy in retirement by volunteering at both St. Mary’s Hospital and Hospice as well as at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish. Mary was a daily Mass attendant, a member of the Divine Mercy Cenacle, and treasured her hours in the adoration chapel. She was devoted to praying the rosary and always had not one, but two rosaries in her pockets! She was an inspiration of faith to all who were blessed to know her. Her smile could light up any room!

Visitation will be held Sunday, September 17, 2023, at 0’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 from 6-8 pm with a Rosary at 7:45 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday September 18, 2023, at 11am at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 1935 Plymouth Ave SE, Grand Rapids MI 49506, with visitation one hour prior. Fr. Pete McCormick, C.S.C. presiding, and Fr. Troy Nevins concelebrating. Internment Resurrection Cemetery. Memorial Contributions can be directed to The Killgoar Education Foundation for IHM School, 1935 Plymouth Ave. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506.

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