Mary Helen (Nickless) Lavrack died peacefully on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, age 86, in the Spring Arbor home which she and her husband built. Born on September 25, 1932, she was the daughter of Wilbur J. and Helen V. (Weiss) Nickless of Gladwin, MI. Marrying her college sweetheart, Mary celebrated with Ellis 66 years of true devotion and deep love for one another. She is survived by her husband Ellis, her daughter Rhonda (Randy) Davis, her son Kevin (Laurie) Lavrack, daughter-in-law Renée (Dan) Runyon, and sister Jane (John) Niederer. Mary is also survived by six grandchildren: Amy (Brian) Finneran, Ryan (Dana) Davis, Rory (Mary) Davis, David (Kristin) Lavrack Runyon, Kirby Runyon, and Caleb (Bethany) Runyon, several great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son Kirk, her parents, and her sisters Shirlie (Jerry) McEvers and Lynne Nickless. Mary graduated as valedictorian from Gladwin High School and graduated with high honors from Central Michigan College of Education with a degree in Elementary Education. Mary dearly loved the Lord and demonstrated this love by serving her family and others. Working as a devoted homemaker following the birth of her children, Mary’s skills as a baker of fine pecan rolls, bread, and pies are fondly remembered by all who tasted her cooking. She was an accomplished seamstress as well, sewing clothing for herself and her loved ones, making draperies for her home, and reupholstering furniture and automobile seats using the pieces from the original upholstery as patterns. Mary loved to garden and, besides her own garden, worked for Wilson’s Greenhouse in Spring Arbor for many seasons. Beginning in 1990 following Ellis’ retirement, Mary and Ellis served for 11 years with Roving Volunteers in Christ’s Service (RVICS), traveling the country using their hands and their minds to aid Christian non-profit organizations. Mary and Ellis moved to Fort Myers, FL, in 2001 to help care for their son following an auto accident and lived there until her health deteriorated and they returned to Michigan in 2014. While in Florida, they volunteered in the office of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, aiding seniors to use in-home care rather than being admitted to nursing homes. She enjoyed playing Scrabble and Rook, walking with Ellis, camping, and traveling to national parks. Mary was a long-time member of the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church where a funeral service will be held in the chapel on Monday, November 19, 1:00 p.m., with the Rev. Dr. Darold Hill officiating; interment in the Spring Arbor Cemetery will follow the service. Visitation with the family will be one hour prior to the service, starting at noon. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Kirk Lavrack Memorial Scholarship Fund, Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, MI. The family extends heartfelt thanks to the caregivers of Our Family Friend, LLC, who gave such tender and loving care to Mary in the final season of her illness.
Watson Funeral Chapel
2590 Spring Arbor Rd.
Locally Owned Since 1930
Kirk Lavrack Memorial Scholarship Fund. Spring Arbor University
106 E. Main Street, Spring Arbor MI 49283