Mary Frances Lapka
Lansing - Age 90, passed away on May 4, 2021. She was born on November 13, 1930 in Lansing to Margaret and Edward McKeone.
Mary married the love of her life, Len Lapka, teacher and coach, and celebrated 65 years of marriage before his death in 2015. She attended Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati and after raising her family, completed her education at Michigan State University, graduating summa cum laude with a Masters in Education. She dedicated 20 years to her elementary students at Pleasant Grove and Lewton Schools in Lansing.
Mary was a longtime member of St. Gerard Church and a passionate community servant. She sat on the IRB Research Group at Ingham Medical (McLaren) Hospital for 20 years, and was a volunteer for The Wharton Center, Sparrow Hospital, Huntington's Disease Society of America, First Candle, Meals on Wheels, The Red Cross, and a job shadowing program at Waverly HS.
Some of Mary's most memorable times were spent at the family cottage on Rennie (aka "Lennie") Lake. She loved having morning coffee on the deck, playing lively card games, painting rocks with grandkids, and loudly cooking elaborate breakfasts for her family. She enjoyed traveling, attending grandchildren's activities near and far. She joined family vacations in North Carolina, Florida, and New York and enjoyed trips to Hawaii, Europe, Japan and more. Her hobbies included quilting, fishing, and reading. She maintained close friendships with her neighbors and childhood friends, and was known for her thoughtful letters and "Alerts" to loved ones, always signing off with her trademark, "Just Me."
Mary is survived by her five children: Deborah Boyd, Jean Lapka, Joseph (Cindy) Lapka, Thomas Lapka, and James Lapka; her grandchildren: Jennifer Walker, Joseph Lapka (Gonzalo Manucci), Sara (Michael) Brundage, Tyler Boyd, Katie (Steve) Pahner, Molly (Steve) Shimek, Adam Simons, Dr. Alexander (Brianna) Lapka, Kaitlin Lapka; 10 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends. Mary was preceded in death by her parents and her brother and sisters, Bob, Sue, Kaye, and Carol, granddaughter Lauren Boyd, and twin granddaughters, Elizabeth and Anne Simons.
A private family service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to: Huntington's Disease Society of America-Great Lakes Region (PO Box 72, Richland, MI 49083) https://uppergreatlakes.hdsa.org; The National MS Society https://www.NationalMSSociety.org
; or the Autism Society of North Carolina https://www.autismsociety-nc.org
, please designate Camp Royall.
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Published by Lansing State Journal from May 7 to May 9, 2021.