In Memory of




Obituary for Mary Gertrude Willis

Mary Gertrude Willis,

Fenton, Michigan,

Formerly of Frankenmuth.

Beloved mother and grandmother, passed away Saturday, February 6, 2021 at Vicinia Gardens – Intermediate Care Assisted Living in Fenton, Michigan. Daughter of the late Fred and Gertrude (Switalski) Matzelle, Mary was born December 13, 1942 in Saginaw, Michigan. She was a graduate of Saginaw High School and Central Michigan University. Mary always had a smile and kind word for everyone. She was a devout Catholic and attended Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Frankenmuth where she was one of its founding members. Mary was employed by the Frankenmuth School District and taught first and second grade for 40 years at List Elementary School. Teaching was the greatest joy in her life. She loved all her students over the years-especially the spirited ones whom she affectionately called “little rodders.” After retiring, she enjoyed traveling and adventures with her “bestest” friend, Kat Robertson and her husband, Ed, exploring various destinations including Vermont, Vegas, New Orleans and other parts of the United States. She also loved vacationing in Manistee where she spent many childhood summers with her extended family. Her weekly lunches with her brother, Albert were very dear to her. She exercised regularly with her trainer and dear friend, Danielle Goss, who was very helpful and special to her. She also loved frequent shopping extravaganzas-always certain to be “dressed to the nines.” Her daughter, Katie was her constant companion and she loved spending time with her and her granddaughter, Allie.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Katherine (Brett – her “favorite son-in-law”) Howell, Fenton; her granddaughter, Alexandra Howell, South Bend, Indiana; her brother, Albert (Anne) Matzelle, Howell; a nephew, Kyle (Ann) Matzelle, Oakley; her nieces, Holly Matzelle and Lauren (Karl) Weinner, all of Lansing. A special thank you to Vicinia Gardens-Intermediate Care and The Medical Team Hospice, both of Fenton, for their wonderful care and support.

Funeral Liturgy will take place 11:00 a.m. Thursday, February 11, 2021 at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, 958 E. Tuscola St., Frankenmuth, Michigan. Rev. Fr. Patrick Jankowiak will officiate with burial in Blessed Trinity Cemetery. Friends may visit at the church where the family will be present on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. until time of Mass. In accordance with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services ordinance, the limitations of number gathered, mask wearing and social distancing will be observed. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to Blessed Trinity Parish.