Mary Kerkow, 85

Mary Kerkow, 85, of Montgomery, passed away peacefully surrounded by family, on Monday evening, April 29, 2019, at Oak Terrace Senior Living, in Jordan, MN.

A Celebration of Life will be on Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m., with a visitation two hours prior, at St John Lutheran Church, 105 Spruce Avenue NW, Montgomery. Pastor Jason Pollington will preside. Acting as pallbearers will be Mary’s grandchildren. She will be laid to rest next to her son at Spirit Hill Cemetery, Jordan.

On August 17, 1933, on the family farm in rural Jordan, Mary Lucille was born. She was the fifth of seven children born to parents, Frank and Susan (Gregory) Sunder. Mary’s father passed at a young age, leaving her and siblings, Irene, Ruth, Edith, Jane, Ellen and John to all help out to provide for the family.

She attended school in Jordan needing to walk several miles to school each day up and down the Jordan hill. Mary graduated from Jordan High School in 1951.

In Mary’s junior year of high school, she began dating fellow classmate, Glenn Kerkow. Over the next several years their loved flourished. On July 24, 1954, at St John Lutheran Church in Jordan, Mary and Glenn exchanged wedding vows. They first settled their roots in Jordan and in 1963, Mary and Glenn moved their family to Montgomery. She dedicated each day raising her children, Deb, Bruce, Penny, Brice and Kelly.

As a family, they enjoyed the simple things in life and being together was most important. The Kerkows enjoyed camping and the summer vacations. Over the years, Mary and Glenn loved attending the annual fireman’s conventions trips with friends.

In retirement, they enjoyed bus trips to try their luck with penny and nickel slot machines traveling around to area casinos. A traditional outing of the week that was rarely missed was Saturday evening church service followed with a pizza supper.

Mary was extremely proud being a grandma and great-grandma. She looked forward to spending time with them and enjoyed outings of going to the movies and to dinner. Celebrating everyone’s birthdays was very special in Mary’s eyes and she always treated them with an extra special gift that the children always knew was coming. Mary relished hosting the holidays and her home filled food, family, laughter and great conversations.     

Besides being a wife, mother and grandma, Mary spent more than 20 working for Montgomery-Lonsdale Schools with most of those years as a library aide. She loved reading books to the children and helping them select the perfect book. She is fondly remembered by many former students because she took the time to visit with them about their day. 

A few special things Mary is remembered for is her Charlie perfume, crocheting mittens for her children and her knack for making amazing carrot cake. She enjoyed indulging in ice cream, French fries and popcorn. Mary also enjoyed reading, watching game shows and the Minnesota Twins and golf, especially Tiger Woods.

Mary had a strong faith in God, and this shined brightly in her character. She was passionate, caring, kind and generous. Mary loved unconditionally and had a great sense of humor with a quick wit.  

Forever loved, Mary will be missed by her beloved husband, Glenn; children, Deb (Mitch) Blaschko, Penny (Tim) Johnston, Brice Kerkow, Kelly (Pat) Korbitz; grandchildren, Vanessa (Jessey) Holicky, Nick Blaschko, Krystle (Nate) Kaderlik, Katelin (Garrett) Miller, Kassidy Korbitz (Alex Burns), Natalee Korbitz, Konnor Korbitz; great-grandchildren, Brennon Holicky, Blayke Holicky, Brooklyn Holicky, Taelynn Kaderlik, Breckston Kaderlik, Brynlee Kaderlik, Easton Kaderlik; sisters, Irene Bearson, Ruth Marxen, Edith Sonsteby, Jane Nelson, Ellen Hentges; other relatives and friends.

There to greet Mary home in heaven is her son, Bruce Kerkow; parents, Frank and Susan Sunder; and brother, John Sunder.

Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation proudly served and cared for the Kerkow family.  www.ballardsunderfuneral.com.

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