Mary Louise (Mary Lou) (Szarka) Baier, age 89, of Yucaipa, Calif., and formerly of Winona, passed away on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, in Yucaipa, after a long battle with dementia.
She was born on January 5, 1929, in Lorain, Ohio, to Paul and Mary (Korcz) Szarka. She graduated from Lorain High School and got her first job as an IGA cashier. After working for the Lorain Gas Co. for many years, she ventured up to Alaska to help care for her newborn niece. While there, she worked for Alaska Airlines and later the Employment Agency in Fairbanks. It was in Alaska that she met Richard Baier and other future relatives, as part of their Catholic church’s social group. Mary Lou and Richard (Dick) were wed in Lorain, Ohio, on April 4, 1959.
They returned to Alaska for eight more years before making moves to Worcester, Mass.; and Cuyahoga Falls, Sandusky, Cincinnati, and Cleveland in Ohio. When her two girls were young, she was a stay-at-home mom. After moving to Winona in 1976-77, she worked for Catholic Charities for many years, the kitchen for the nuns at the Tau Center, and delivered for Meals on Wheels.
She was very proud of her Hungarian heritage, and loved to cook and bake Hungarian meals, cookies, and kolache. Mary Lou was always ready for a good game of Pinochle. She also enjoyed collecting antiques, going to garage sales, estate sales and auctions. She was a member of St. Casimir’s parish.
She is survived by daughters, Linda (Mike) Baier-Dilbeck, Yucaipa, Calif., and Mary (Tom) Schell, Winona; grandchildren, Miranda (Tanner) Curnow and Richard “Seth” Dilbeck of California, Alexandra Schell and Zachary Schell of Winona; great-grandson, Malachi Curnow of California; brothers, Jim and Joe (Jeanne) Szarka, both of Ohio; as well as nieces, nephews and other relatives.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Richard; siblings, Paul and Lou; as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins.
The family of Mary Lou Baier would like to extend our deepest thanks and gratitude to the nurses and staff of Bridge Hospice of California, especially to Tyrel Rosell (S.W.), Nancy McCormick (RN), Faith Gonzales, Maria Malekzadeh, Bob Hardy and Kevin Forte. An eternal debt of gratitude is extended to the team of Mary Lou’s daily care providers, Sofia Zepeda Gomez and daughters — Marissa Gomez and Alicia Gomez Yaryan, and Miranda Dilbeck Curnow and Michael C. Dilbeck Jr. All of you were Mary’s “Angels of Mercy” giving her such wonderful love and care! May the Lord richly bless each of your dear hearts for the time, love and patience you sacrificed on behalf of our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Visitation will be held from 10:30 a.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 10, 2018, in the Chapel of Our Lady at St. Anne Extended Healthcare in Winona. The Very Rev. Mark C. McNae will officiate. A luncheon and reception will immediately follow the Mass at St. Anne’s. Afterward, Mary will be laid to rest, alongside her late husband, at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Minneiska, Minn.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Mary’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.
Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.