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Mary Louise Summers, 83, of Elkhart, died on Monday, November 14, 2022 at Elkhart General Hospital.
Mary Lou was born on February 12, 1939 in Aurora, IL to the late Deneen and Elizabeth (Lord) Ashley.
Surviving are three daughters: Stacy (Daniel) Murphy of New Lenox, IL, Sara (Douglas) Oakley of Carmel, IN and Susan (Andrew) Wyse of Elkhart and eight grandchildren: Erin and Riley Murphy; Alex, Sam, and Max Oakley; and Megan, Michael, and Amy Wyse. Mary Lou was preceded in death by her long time companion R. David Mathias.
Mary Lou attended St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN, where she studied Elementary Education, made several life-long friends, cheered on the Fighting Irish and enjoyed participating in theatre productions (although she couldn’t carry a tune, she loved to dance and be on stage!). She graduated in 1960 and became a second- grade teacher back home in Illinois. During that time she met and married Richard Summers. They moved to Elkhart in 1962 where Mary Lou thoroughly enjoyed teaching at Rice School until becoming loving mother to Stacy, Sara, and Susan.
Probably one of her favorite roles in life had several different titles. Whether she was Gran M’lou, Gamie, Grandma Love or even Grams, she played that role with pride and SO much love. Although family came first, ML made friends everywhere she went. She loved getting to know people, learning their stories then getting them to smile with a story of her own. She also had a large circle of friends that went back 50 some years that were so special to her, each in their own way. She never forgot a birthday or an occasion to be celebrated. Those little celebrations were always well thought out and well personalized, as she was poetic by nature.
Mary Lou was a member of the Tri Kappa Service Sorority and a longtime member of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Elkhart. She recently became a member of St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church in Bristol. Mary Lou’s faith was of utmost importance to her throughout her life and carried her through her final days.
The family would like to thank the staff at Elkhart General Hospital for their excellent service and truly professional and loving care during their mom’s brief stay.
Visitation for Mary Lou will be held on Sunday, November 20, 2022 at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home in Elkhart from 2:00-4:30pm with a rosary prayed immediately after and from 10:00-11:00am Monday November 21, 2022 at St. Mary of the Annunciation Church in Bristol, IN. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held immediately following at 11:00 am with Father Robert VanKempen officiating. There will be a luncheon at the church hall after Mass. Private family burial will take place at Rice Cemetery. Arrangements are being coordinated by Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Samaritan Center 311 W. High St. Elkhart, IN 46516 or St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church 411 W. Vistula St. Bristol, IN 46507.