Mary Helen Rathke

March 08, 1929 - October 23, 2011 

Mary Helen Rathke

March 08, 1929 - October 23, 2011 

Obituary for Mary Helen Rathke

Mary “Marie” Helen Rathke
March 8, 1929 – October 23, 2011
Mary “Marie” Helen Rathke, age 82, a lifelong Monroe County area resident, passed away Sunday, October 23, 2011, at Mercy Memorial Hospital in Monroe. Marie was born at home near Rockwood, Michigan on March 8, 1929. She was the daughter of the late Benedict Bonk and the late Julia (Gordon) Bonk. In addition to her parents, Marie was preceded in death by a daughter, Mary B. (Frost) Danzeisen; a granddaughter, Robin Frost; brothers and sisters, Laura Preston, Bernard Bonk, Leonard Bonk, Julia Smith, and Patricia Smith.
To cherish Marie’s memory she leaves five children, Victoria (Dennis) Hobbs of Virginia, Richard (Janet) Rathke of Sault Ste. Marie, Diane (Mark) Gayer of Petersburg, Joseph Rathke of Summerfield, Dan (Annette) Rathke of Newport; two brothers, Chester Bonk of Carleton and Dennis Bonk of Howell; former husband Richard “Dick” Rathke; sixteen grandchildren, Robert, Patrick, Sandy, Sherri, Rich, James, Shawn, Becky, Misty, Steve, Jason, Jessica, Stephanie, Kerrin, Samantha, Paige; twenty-four great grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.
Marie helped support her family by working numerous jobs, often more than one at a time. She worked as a custodian for Monroe Public Schools, The Monroe Evening News, Banas Lumber, and Mercy Hospital. Marie worked many years as a rural delivery employee for the Monroe Evening News. For a time in the 1960s, she and her husband ran the distribution of The Toledo Blade for Monroe from their home.
Marie was a loving mother who was active in her children’s lives and kept a tight rein on their whereabouts. Marie cherished all children.
When younger, Marie was an avid gardener. She loved cooking and looked forward to Sunday dinners with her family. Marie loved traveling, and camping was a favorite pastime.
A memorial service for Marie’s family and friends will be held December 10, 2011 at St. Mary’s Church. Services will begin at 9:30 a.m. Cremation has taken place through Roselawn Memorial Park Crematory in LaSalle, and a private inurnment will take place at the Chapel of Prayer. Merkle Funeral Service, 2442 North Monroe Street (734) 384-5185 was entrusted with her arrangements.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be made to the Hospice of choice or the Salvation Army. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort, share a photo, or make a donation by visiting www.merklefs.com and then selecting the Online Tributes page.

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  • 2442 North Monroe Street
    Monroe, MI
    48162
  • 734-384-5185

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