OBITUARY

Mary "Rusty" Louise Dutkiewicz

April 8, 1929November 2, 2021
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Mary Louise “Rusty” Dutkiewicz, of Dorr, passed away Tuesday, November 2, 2021 and was reunited with her husband, Dick, who passed away in 2006.

She is survived by her children Cathy (Ron) Merren, Rick (Krystal) Dutkiewicz, Larry (Ali) Dutkiewicz, Steve (Tammy) Dutkiewicz, Margi (Dave) Zerfas, Ann Steffes, and Paula (Mark) Pasma, as well as daughter “in-love,” Sherry Bluhm; along with 23 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter! Rusty will also be missed by her siblings and their spouses Pat Emaus, Dr. Mike Lee, Tom and MaryAnn Donahue, Rita and Dick Hiltz, Beth and John Schnaubelt, and Chris Donahue; and her much loved nieces and nephews and their children.

In addition to her husband and both parents and in-laws, she was preceded in death by her beloved sisters Barb and Peggy; brother, Dan; sister-in-law, Bette and her husband, Dan Mongold; brothers-in-law Bill Emaus and Bill Weideman; Dave Bluhm, who held a special place in her heart; as well as Dick and Rusty’s infant son, Casey.

Together, Dick and Rusty founded Dick’s Market and proudly served the community of Dorr for almost 50 years. Rusty was very active in the Right to Life cause, founding the North Allegan Right to Life group with friend, Ev Fennema, and actively campaigning and doing anything necessary to “save the babies” up until the day she died. She drove school bus for Wayland and St. Stan’s Schools and loved watching over “her kids." She was an active parishioner of St. Stanislaus Parish, volunteering as a lector. She was also a member of St. Stan’s Altar Rosary Society and served as Director of Religious Education for many years.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a.m. Monday, November 8, 2021 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, 1871 136th Ave., Dorr. The family will receive relatives and friends from 2-4 and 6:30-8 p.m. Sunday November 7, 2021, with a Rosary to be held 6-6:30 p.m. at Kubiak-Cook Funeral Home, 4330 18th Ave., Dorr.

The family welcomes memories and messages in their online guestbook at www.kubiakcookdorr.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Right to Life of Michigan Education Fund, Allegan Wings of Hope Hospice, or St. Stanislaus School Education Fund.

Services

  • Visitation

    Sunday, November 7, 2021

  • Rosary

    Sunday, November 7, 2021

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Monday, November 8, 2021

Memories

Mary "Rusty" Louise Dutkiewicz

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Betty Jo Ferry

November 19, 2021

I met Rusty at my first Night of Hope auction the year I started working at Wings of Hope. She had on a sparkly hat and a big smile. I will always remember her that way. She brought in an assortment of items for the auction, the night of the auction but we managed to place each item so that her donations made a difference. One of the items was a fur "muff", something that I had not seen since I was a child! Most of the younger people didn't know what it was. I wondered who would end up with that special item and I believe the lucky winner was our Executive Director, Theresa Lynn. This was meant to be as Rusty had a special place in her heart for Theresa and prayed for her every day. Rusty is missed but will always be remembered, by me and all of us at Wings of Hope.

Myrene Koch

November 8, 2021

Rusty was an inspiration! I met her about 5 years ago at a Right to Life event. She was strong, thoughtful, independent, and one of a kind! She reminded me of my Grandma and when I told her that she asked if my Grandma was sassy too! She told me to be strong and do what was right even if that meant breaking the mold. I've kept several voicemails and prayers she mailed to me as a reminder to be like Rusty. I am blessed to have had her friendship.

Cathrine Adamczyk

November 8, 2021

After breaking my wrist, I was taken to an orthopedic surgeon. On the way Rusty called but I let the call go to voicemail, knowing how long her calls could be. It was right after Covid began so no one was allowed in the room with me. As I was waiting for the doctor, I decided to listen to Rusty's message. She sounded so surprised when she realized she had called me. She said "Cath, I didn't mean to call you, I was trying to call Ryan at EWTN, oh well she said there must be a reason why I got you, so I'll just pray the Angelus with you" which she went on to pray in full. As I listened to her voice, tears came to my eyes, I had felt so alone and afraid, but I realized I really wasn't alone at all! God sent my angel friend Rusty to comfort and pray for me!

Joe Selzer

November 8, 2021

I remember Rusty having me drive their big Cadillac to cathecism class on Wednesday night. I told her I didn't have my license yet. She would say she wouldn't tell anyone. I'm not even sure if she told Dick she let me drive it.

Nate Sherman

November 7, 2021

Tuesday morning we lost a remarkable lady but Heaven gained a good one! Rusty Dutkiewicz went by many things, Catholic, Mother, Grandma, Great Grandma, as she use to recall "I was a baby politician" (no pun intend) and friend! Her commitment to her church, her community, the unborn and her God was truly amazing to see. Rusty had a big heart for people, and she would do whatever she could to help... even if it meant sacrificing something. She would say things out of love though sometimes she didn't always say it in the most political correct way. She was champaign for the unborn since the Roe v Wade Supreme Court case, and as a result started North Allegan Right to Life. She was a member of the Michigan Right to Life board and after that got involved in the Allegan GOP and local elections. It is kinda fitting she went to be with the Lord on a quiet Election Day morning. I will never forget driving around putting up 8x10 signs or picking up yard signs back when she had her van. The sparkly hat will be missed, as well as all the stories of this or that. Rusty frequently joked said "Dick beam me up" and Tuesday she finally got that request. St. Peter's cloud of witnesses just got a little bit brighter! Prayers for the Dutkiewicz family, but know that Jesus probably had Rusty's heavenly crowns in the shape of her classic sparkly hat. ;-)

Adelaide Lee Gramanz

November 7, 2021

Aunt Rusty, we will miss your larger than life presence as the family matriarch, especially all your advice, stories and political conversation. I so treasure all the memories of visits with you and other family at Barb & Bill's cottage every summer. Your constant notes and birthday cards are family legend and will be so missed! One Rusty memory, I particularly remember was my oldest child's Jake's first Christmas. I had started to send out Christmas cards and was addressing them in the car on our way to see my parents in Utah. I sadly left the box with the original photo and all the cards outside a gas station somewhere on the road. My Mom mentioned this to Rusty. Luckily Aunt Rusty had already received my card and immediately sent it back to me so I was able to make more. She was so thoughtful, always.

Condolences to the Dutkiewicz Family.

Rest in Peace Aunt Rusty (and Uncle Dick).

Steve Dutkiewicz

November 6, 2021

“Life” seemed to be the theme of Rusty’s life. Mom lived an extremely full life. She brought 7 lives into this world (with a little help from Dad). Her life experiences were so rich that she couldn’t help but, shall we say, sometimes over-communicate her life lessons to people.
In her many roles as Store-keeper, Church-Lady, School Bus Driver, Political Activist, Social Justice Crusader, etc, she touched so many lives that it is hard to find someone who didn’t know her or know of her.
I have filled many roles in this life also. Likely due to the examples of Mom & Dad. My volunteerism for the last 20 years was more in a structured form such as the American Legion or DBA, or Dorr 4th Celebration. Even though she would also work with charity groups, Rusty would many times see and fulfill the needs of people on her own.
Right to Life of course, became her obsession for over 40 years. She not only preached it, Rusty lived it. Before there were shelters for young, scared pregnant girls or abused wives or needy families, Rusty would recognize their needs and help them in any way she could.
Her political obsession which grew even stronger after Dad was gone, was so intense because she could clearly see the many ways that big government ruins people’s lives by making them dependent on the state instead of letting them live their life free of government interference.
Agree or disagree with her, Rusty would remain your friend and ally. She loved life and did more for humanity in her 92 years than any of us could hope to achieve. She loved to have fun and I’m sorry I didn’t have room here for some of the fun stuff but those moments are the one’s I’ll cherish forever. She was quite a Lady that Mary Lou!

Kathy Chachulski

November 6, 2021

My dear Rusty. You were always ready with a big smile and a kind word. Im really going to miss you Honey. Love Kathy

William Baillargeon

November 5, 2021

Rusty, I feel confident to address you directly as I know full well you are already deep in prayers for those you left behind. I know that you deservedly look on this as a promotion and that you have been anxious to reunite with Dick. You will be greatly missed and we will be hard pressed to seek out thoughtful and entertaining letters to the editor ( under your various pen names). Your energy and passion never flagged— you set a high bar for those you left behind but such an amazing example of selfless giving and work will inspire us to try.
Rest In Peace Rusty, you deserve it.
You are in our prayers.

Therese & Marilyn Donahue

November 5, 2021

Dear Family,
We always loved Rusty’s name! Our Father, Frank Donahue, loved His Brother, Tony’s Beautiful Daughters. We always thought Dick was a very Handsome and Wonderful Man ! Marilyn and I had been to Dorr least two or three times; including ,most recently, when they celebrated a Milestone Anniversary. We were amazed at the Supermarket and all that they were accomplishing. They raised Great Kids! We Love and Miss Dick & Rusty!
Our Condolences,
The Donahue Twins

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