Cover photo for Mary Patricia Willard's Obituary
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1949 Mary Patricia Willard 2023

Mary Patricia Willard

September 24, 1949 — November 12, 2023


Mary Patricia Willard passed away peacefully at home on November 12, 2023. She was born on September 24, 1949, in Lansing, MI. She graduated from O’Rafferty High School in 1967. In 1969, she married Tom Willard. Mary had many jobs in her lifetime and made numerous friends along the way. She worked for the State of Michigan and retired as an elementary teacher from the Lansing School District. Mary enjoyed her family. She loved to cook, write poetry, travel to all 50 states over her lifetime and parts of Europe, paint, live theater, going to movies and an occasional casino visit.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Howard Winans and Patricia (Early) Winans, and sister-in-law, Joan Winans. She is survived by her dear friend and husband of 54 years, Tom and her two sons, Thomas E. Willard, Jr. (Becki) and Bryan Jon Willard (Kelly).

She adored her 4 wonderful grandchildren, Laura, Colin, Emily, and Tyler Willard. Mary also leaves behind a sister, Karen Phillipich (John) and four brothers, Tom Winans, Ken Winans, Joe Winans (Lisa), and John Winans (Sandy). Mary was blessed with many friends, especially Gloria Miller, Patti Schertzing and Judy Paulsen.

Mary will be greatly missed by all who loved her. According to Mary’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Arrangements were entrusted to Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 723 US Hwy 27 N, Marshall, MI 49068. There will be no formal funeral to attend. A private family graveside burial service will take place at a later date. Mary requested that you say a prayer or a rosary on her behalf.   

Memorial contributions can be made in Mary’s honor to: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, ; Cardboard Prophets, 5472 Oak Hill Dr, Eaton Rapids, MI 48827; Life as a Zebra Foundation ; or the Gary Sinise Foundation at . All memorial contributions are greatly appreciated. Kempf Funeral Homes in Marshall can assist in any way needed. 

Please visit to view the online obituary, to sign the online guest book or to leave the family condolences.



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