ESCANABA - MaryLou Messier passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 24, 2012, surrounded by family.
MaryLou Handley Messier was born Dec. 10, 1930, in Leighton Township, Mich. She was the daughter of Bernard and Marjorie "Marge" (Halloran) Tobin. She graduated from Delton High School in 1948. In 1949 she married Mel Handley and moved to Chicago, Ill. Five years later they moved to Lisle. He died in 1994, just a month short of their 45th anniversary. In 2002, she married Arthur R. Messier and moved to Escanaba.
MaryLou loved to travel and has been to all 50 states at least twice. She has also traveled to Canada, Mexico, Ireland, England, Scotland, Venezuela, Greece, Belgium, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel. A freelance artist, she displayed her paintings in Lisle and Downers Grove, Ill., and Escanaba and Gladstone. In Lisle she belonged to the Nature Artists Guild of the Morton Arboretum, was active in the League of Women Voters, serving as president for two years, was an officer on Friends of the Lisle Library Board, served as an election judge, was a hospice volunteer, and belonged to a women's golf league. In Michigan, she belonged to Bonifas Art Center, Escanaba Senior Center, and St. Anne's prayer shawl ministry. She enjoyed playing bridge, dominoes, and cribbage for the game as well as the opportunity it gave her to interact with people.
She is survived by her husband, Art; six children by her first husband, Debbie (Steve) Tonissen of Glen Ellyn, Ill., Becky (Mike) Semyck of Woodridge, Ill., Maureen (Rusty) Jordan of Woodland, Calif., Gregg (Kathy Jackson) Handley of Evergreen, Colo., Kris McGrath of Chicago, and Glenn Handley of Lisle, Ill.; fourteen grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren on the way. She is also survived by stepchildren, Mary Kay Millard of Twin Lake, Mich., Patti (Jim) Robertson of Woodridge, Ill., Cynthia (Hugh Windsor) Messier of Memphis, Tenn., and John (Carol) Messier of Lakeville, Minn.; nine stepgrandchildren and 11 step-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Beverly Reynolds of Granger, Ind.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband, her sister, Bernie Hankerd; and brother, John Tobin.
MaryLou will be remembered by her family and friends as a kind, loving, and caring woman. Most of all, she will be remembered for her big heart, concern, and prayers for her family and friends, and anyone who came to her, and for her hearty laugh.
To honor MaryLou's wishes, there will not be a scheduled visitation, however, a Memorial Mass of Christian Burial is planned for Saturday, July 7, at 11 a.m., at the St. Joseph and St. Patrick Church, in Escanaba, with Rev. Fr. Eric Olson officiating. Luncheon will follow services in the St. Joseph and St. Patrick Parish Hall. In addition, a memorial mass will be scheduled for July 21 at 9:30 a.m., at St. Joan of Arc Church in Lisle, Ill. Memorial contributions may be directed to The St. Joseph's Church Elevator Fund in Escanaba or the Nature Artists Guild of the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill.
Envelopes will be available at the Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County as well as the St. Joseph and St. Patrick Church throughout services.
The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Messier family with arrangements.
Messages of condolence to MaryLou's family may be offered online at www.skradskifuneralhomes.com.