In memory of
Mary Frances Oklessen
MARY FRANCES TURK
December 4, 1916 - February 12, 2019
Mary Frances Oklessen, nee Turk, was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 4, 1916. She was the third of six children born to Slovenian parents, Teresa and Joseph Turk. Her siblings include: Sophie (deceased), Rose (deceased), Joe (deceased), Vera (deceased), and Edmund. She was an aunt to 10 nephews and nieces. She belonged to St. Vitus parish and attended school there. She loved the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout her life.
Mom met my dad, Joseph, growing up in the East 69th and St. Clair neighborhood. I can only imagine what she looked like riding on the back of my dad's Harley motorcycle! Mom and dad married and lived on Eddy Rd. After I was born, we moved to Euclid in the mid 1950's. Mom and dad raised me in a house of love. When my dad died, I was 12 and my mother had to raise a daughter on her own, learn to drive, maintain a home, mow the lawn, get a job outside of the home, and keep finances.
She worked many years as a waitress at the Hofbrau House.
Mom also did volunteer work for the Democratic party, especially for her brother, Edmund Turk, who was a Councilman and president of the Cleveland City Council.
She loved to garden and neighbors always stopped by to see her flowers. She especially loved her lilies of the valley and edelweiss. She and Aunt Rosie were known for growing their heirloom beans from Yugoslavia.
She was an outstanding cook, preparing ethnic and organic meals.
Mom loved to travel. She went to the Mayan ruins, the Virgin Islands, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, Austria, and Canada.
Mom was a life-long learner. In her 50's, she studied yoga, Tai Chi, modern, tap, and Latin dance. She became a member of the Euclid Senior Rockettes. She performed with them for more than 20 years. Mary also volunteered and danced with the Gold Coast Follies.
Mom received an award for her 2,000+ hours of volunteer work. She also did some senior modeling for Higbee's and Nordstrom's department stores. She loved her clothes and had an impressive collection of hats.
My mom enjoyed her 4+ years in Hinckley with me. She loved going to the park to watch the dogs and the beauty of nature.
Mom inspired others and was so well loved! Her positive nature, enthusiasm, kindness, generosity, and fun loving personality touched people of all ages. She shared her big infectious smiles even in her final days.
Her mottos that I remember growing up were: "You will survive" and "Better days are coming!" Mom, we celebrate your "better days" in God's Love and Light!
Like the Standing Stones, my love and gratitude for you will forever be, Mom!
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either:
Berea Animal Rescue Friends (ARF) or Friends of Medina County Parks/Children and Nature Grants
Funeral Mass at St. Vitus Church, 6019 Lausche Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44103 on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 11:00 AM. Please gather directly at church. Interment at Calvary Cemetery, Cleveland. Friends may call at the BUSCH FUNERAL HOME, 7501 RIDGE ROAD, PARMA FROM 4:00 PM-8:00 PM, Monday, February 18.
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