A life-long resident of Hegewisch, Mary was born at her family home on Commercial Ave. to Peter and Mary Bugajski on January 5, 1923. Throughout her life, Mary was an active member of her community. She faithfully served in a leadership role with the Rosary Ladies and Mother’s Club at St. Florian Church and was an active participant in all of her children’s extra-curricular activities at Mann Park.
You may have known her as “Mom,” “Nana,” “Auntie Mary,” or “Mrs. Kot.” However you knew her, it is certain that you loved her. Always welcoming you in with a bright smile, Mary was the light, the happiness, and the ever-present voice of reason that every person needs in their life. She was quick with a joke and always singing. While she may have known a mere 25% of the lyrics to any song, she was very good with the “la, la, las” and “da, da, das.” Thanks to Mary, we will be forever singing “Sto Lat” for birthdays, “You Are My Sunshine” in the morning and “Down in the Valley” at night.
Without question, Mary’s happiness was her family. Family is what filled her whole heart, for her whole life. She loved her mother and father and missed them tremendously. She loved, and spoke fondly about growing up with her seven brothers and one sister, all of whom preceded her in death. Mary cherished all of the time she spent with her parents, siblings and many nieces and nephews at family gatherings. Whether it was listening to her husband’s polka band in their basement, at Grandma’s house or an impromptu picnic at Cal Beach and Mann Park, that moment in time was always when she was happiest.
Mary lost her husband, Matt in 1985. After 40 years of marriage, and house filled with love, laughter and countless stories his larger-than-life presence was always missed. For her six grandchildren – Kathy, Kristen, Lori, Melek, Karen and Brendan - it was always a joy to get to spend the night at Nana’s. There you could watch Golden Girls, listen to records and play Scrabble to your hearts content. Her great love extended to her fifteen great-grandchildren: Brooke, Matt, Dylan, Ben, Amanda, Kalley, Gabriel, Ryan, Logan, Samuel, Theodore, James, Matthew, Jake, and George who are all lucky to have spent a generous amount of time with her and know her well.
Dearest to her heart through all of her years were her five children – Ronald (Hediye), Lois (Joe), Linda (Pat), Ellen (Bob) and Mary Ellen (Tim). Her children, and their loving spouses, kept her going for all of these years and their constant care and love for her is undoubtedly what got her to her 98th year. She didn’t let a day pass without telling her kids what they meant to her, and spent her last days holding each of their hands, smiling, and saying “I love you.”
In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, or a Charity of your choice.
Arrangements entrusted to Sadowski Funeral Home of Hegewisch: 13300 S. Houston Ave. Chicago, IL 60633 (773-646-1666). Services Private, Interment Holy Cross Cemetery.
Mary will be dearly missed by family and friends.
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