Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes

1730 East Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI


Mary Lou Rowlett

September 8, 1928July 10, 2019

Mary Lou Rowlett of Okemos, Michigan peacefully passed away at the age of 90 with her family around her on the evening of July 10, 2019. Born on September 8, 1928 to Albert (Bert) and Pearl (Taft) Roche, she was a lifelong resident of the Lansing area. She graduated in 1946 from St. Mary School and was a dedicated parishioner at St. Mary Cathedral in Lansing. In 1950, she married the love of her life, James H. Rowlett. They worked together to run Bollert’s Hardware in Frandor for many years, and she ran the business after his death until 2001. For them, it was so much more than a business venture, and they made it feel like home to all who worked and shopped there. She also made time to volunteer for 50 years with Mary Magdalen League at St. Lawrence Hospital, where she and her daughters were born. Her most important priority was always her family; she loved us to the fullest and always went the extra mile to make sure all of us were happy, healthy, and safe.

Mary Lou is survived by her daughters, Kris Abendroth, Karen (David) Bell, Jami (Troy) Marshall, and Lynne (Rod) Patterson; grandchildren Mindy Evans, Andrew (Jill) Abendroth, Sr., Kathryn Abendroth, Lisa (Derek) Ballard, Michael and Anthony Davis, and Elizabeth (Jesse) Playter; great-grandchildren Tyler Evans, Brianna Evans, Benjamin Jewell, Niasha Donnelly, Andrew Abendroth, Jr., Paige Abendroth, James (Monique Pierre) Abendroth, Joseph Abendroth, and Edward Abendroth; sister Rae Leece and brother John (Joyce) Roche; too many nieces and nephews to count; and a host of friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, James H. Rowlett; parents Albert and Pearl Roche; sisters Rita Roche, Loretta (Lucius) Wilson, Eileen (Robert) Haule, Kathryn (Gar) McKillen, Jean (George) Scott, Agnes (Paul) Ayotte, Patricia (Aloys) Scieszka, and Nancy (Ted) Vernier; brothers Robert (Bernice) Parker, Emmett (Elizabeth) Roche, Ronald (Rose) Roche, James (Phyllis) Roche, and Gerald (Gail) Roche; and grandson Bradley Davis.

The Catholic Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at St. Mary Cathedral, 219 Seymour Avenue, Lansing 48933 at 10:00 am, preceded by visitation at 9:00 am at that location. Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery, 1709 East Mt. Hope Avenue, Lansing 48910.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to McLaren Homecare and Hospice, 2815 South Pennsylvania Avenue, Ste.4, Lansing, MI 48910 or to any charity of choice.

Mom touched all our lives in so many special ways. She was a generous, giving soul who fiercely loved those who were close to her. So many have told us that she was a second mother or grandma to them, and they were all special to her. She would do anything to help in any situation, often exhausting herself in the process. We are grateful and proud to have this incredible, beautiful person as our mom, grandma, sibling, aunt, mentor, friend. It’s impossible to imagine our world without her, but her unconditional love and acceptance will always be there to carry us through our lives.

We would like to thank everyone who took such excellent care of Mom at Burcham Hills Rehabilitation Center, Brookdale Memory Care, and Ingham County Medical Care.


  • McLaren Homecare and Hospice


  • Visitation Tuesday, July 16, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Tuesday, July 16, 2019


Mary Lou Rowlett

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Mary Barnes

July 13, 2019

I worked with Mary Lou in the St. Lawrence Gift Shop. She gave her all to any project that she took on. I first met her in 1976 and later was rather a partner in the St. Lawrence Auxiliary and when she Managed the Gift Shop.
I'll always remember her surprise cookies she would bring at Valentines Day and Christmas.
I hope she is at peace and may the angels come to meet her.

Mary Barnes

Polly Minick

July 13, 2019

Aunt Mary Lou was a constant in my life - I can remember her from a very young age - I so remember her wedding. All of our visits to Lansing, she was a sweet and comforting person who made a young person walking into that house full of family - feel most welcome and comfortable. Always beautiful inside and out - it so saddens me to know she is not in our physical life anymore. I know everyone has beautiful memories of her.
She will be missed by the “girls” she so loved.
Polly Minick
Naples FL

Dale & Edna Burgess

July 12, 2019

I remember our many coffee gatherings week day mornings. Five or six of us women, me being the youngest and just married but they welcomed me into their group. A lot of wonderful memories of our few years spent on Greenlawn Ave. Our sympathy to each one of her wonderful daughters. Our family of 3 is down to 2 since our son, Todd, died a year ago. We have 5 grandchildren, 2 step granddaughters and 2 great grand children. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this sad time.
Dale and Edna Burgess

Colleen Hoover

July 12, 2019

I will always remember Aunt Marylou. Kind, beautiful, always smiling. She gifted us with a great omelette pan from the hardware store when we got married. I used it for years. Goodbye, sweet lady!

Kim Broyls

July 12, 2019

Kris, Karen, Jami, Lynne, Mindy, Andy and Katy.....You all know how much I love(d) Mrs. Rowlett and my heart breaks for all of you. I was so blessed to have her as a second grandma during my childhood. And even though I haven't seen her in years, I often thought of her. Through the years, I have also shared stories of spending time with her as a kid with my own children. She was a special, kind woman who touched a lot of people. I'm just happy that I was one of them. Hugs and kisses to you all from California! Love, Kim