Mary Ellen Alanko, age 86, of Gladstone, passed away peacefully on Dec. 31, 2019 at her home surrounded by her loving family.
Mary was born August 21, 1933, in Escanaba, the daughter of Clarence and Mary (McCormick) Tardiff. She resided in Gladstone for most of her life and was a 1951 graduate of Gladstone High School. Mary met the love of her life, Charles “Charlie” Alanko, in Gladstone and they were united in marriage on November 20, 1954. Together, they have shared 65 years of wonderful memories. Mary was a devoted parishioner of the All Saints Catholic Church of Gladstone. Mary loved spending time with her grandchildren and attending all of their events. She also enjoyed playing bingo, golfing and playing cards with her lady friends every Tuesday. Mary was a great baker and loved sharing her homemade bread with friends and family. One of the highlights of her day was going to the front window and waving to the neighborhood kids as they got onto the school bus each morning. Mary will be deeply missed by many.
Along with her loving husband Charlie, Mary is survived by:
Sons: Scott (Geri) Alanko and Tracy (Catherine) Alanko
Daughters: Lynn (Mike) Reese, Kathy Macki, Michelle (Rick) Hansen, and Cindy (Dave) Anderson
Brother: Robert (Maureen) Tardiff
Sister: Barbara (Fred) Pfiester
Sisters in law: Joanne Tardiff and Mary Lou (Bruce) Armstrong
Grandchildren: Jennifer (Mark) Lenards, Heather (Mike) Smith, April (Tom) Dahlin, Scott (Jaimie) Reese, Ann (Shayne) Sanville, Jeremy Shope, Joshua Shope, Jeff (Susana) Niles, Nicole (Christian Schweitzer) Niles, Ryan (Arlene) Padilla, Erin Padilla, Rachelle (Adam) Esquibel, Jessica Mackie, Kathleen Alanko, Donnie Alanko, and Tracy Alanko.
Mary is also survived by 18 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Along with her parents, Mary was preceded in death by:
Sisters: Kathleen (Jim) Nedeau, Beverly (Leroy) Maki, Margaret (Donny) Stevenson, Audrey (Francis) Grenier, and Elaine (Dave) Phalen
Brothers: Donald Tardiff, John (Joanne) Tardiff, Richard Tardiff and Raymond Tardiff
Son in law: Chuck (Kathy) Macki
The Alanko family invites friends to join them on Tuesday, Jan. 7th, 2020 at 11:00 AM for a Memorial Mass at the All Saints Catholic Church with Rev. Fr. Jamie Ziminski officiating. There will be a luncheon to follow in the parish hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to All Saints Church in Mary’s name. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Alanko family.