Mary was born on Nov. 29, 1930, in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Laura and Harold Garvey. She graduated from St. Ambrose High School in Ironwood and attended the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.
Mary married Walter Kusz at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in July 1952. They spent just shy of 70 years together. She worked as a bookkeeper and manager at Garvey Plumbing and Heating and later Cloverland Homes Inc. Mary was active in St. Ambrose and later Our Lady of Peace Catholic Parish, in Circle, assisting at La Rosa dinners and selling donated books for Ironwood Catholic schools. During her lifetime, she engaged in many volunteer and fundraising activities in the Ironwood area including the DOVE Shelter, the Copper Peak store and ticket office, and the PTA at Newport School.
Mary was a generous and hard-working person with a big heart. An avid reader and skilled knitter, her hand-knit blankets won many blue ribbons at the Gogebic County Fair, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were always kept warm with her handmade jackets, hats and mittens. Mary traveled to England and Ireland several times with family. She was very proud of her Irish heritage and collected Irish paraphernalia which will serve as a legacy for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed daily neighborhood walks with her pet Maltipoo "Trixie."
Mary Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Walter; parents, Laura and Harold Garvey; an uncle, Melvin Mordaunt; and a special cousin, June (Moore) Fincke. She is survived by her three children, Colleen (Charles) Kichak of Ironwood, Michael (Christine) of North Port, Florida, and Daniel (Sandy St. John) of Watersmeet; five grandchildren, Erin Kusz of Iron Mountain, Dr. Kerry (Dr. Michael) Blaha of Cockeysville, Maryland, Shannon (Dr. Toby) Rider of Brea, California, Casey (Tom Wutke) Kichak of Edgerton, Wisconsin, and Jessi (Ryan) Carlson of Murdock, Minnesota; two stepgrandchildren, Justin (Angela) St. John of Ironwood and Alicia (Michael) Graham of Ironwood; 11 great-grandchildren and three stepgreat-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Dorothy Kusz of Ironwood; and a brother-in-law, Robert Carlson.
Funeral services are scheduled for July 12, at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church. Cremation has taken place.
The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff of Aspirus Ironwood Hospital and to those staff at Westgate Rehabilitation Center who cared for her.
The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home in Ironwood to honor Mary's legacy of life. To make an online condolence or for more information visit McKevittPatrickFuneralHome.com.