Mary Louise Lanaski was born on May 1, 1932 in Aurora, MN and died December 29, 2021 in Duluth, MN. A lifelong Minnesota resident, Mary spent much of her life residing in Duluth where she attended Marquette, Duluth Central and Duluth Cathedral High School. In 1953, she married Michael Lanaski and together had two daughters Terri and Sherri.
Mary was well-known in her community. To some, she was “Big Mary”, a nickname she acquired working at the Pickwick restaurant for over 42 years. For others, she was singing voice from the Duluth Hotel or in the St. Peters church choir. She was an active member of St. Mary’s Star of the Sea. Mary was also known as the person who cooked for her friends in the Lennox or someone who could spot a “good bargain.”
While she lived and loved Minnesota, she also enjoyed traveling. She visited most of the 50 United States. Other trips included visiting England, Ireland, France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Turkey and her mother’s homeland of (then) Yugoslavia.
She is survived by her daughters Terri Newman (Duluth) and Sherri Lanaski (Minneapolis), granddaughters Michelle Newman (Nick Pladson) and Gina Newman (Cory Strand) both of the Twin Cities and her great, grandchildren Lucy and Crosby Pladson, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
A special thank you to the staff at St Luke’s 7th West and Dr. Susan Yankovich for the compassionate care Mary received.
A private ceremony will be held in 2022. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189 at 2002 London Road, Duluth, MN 55812.