Mary Louise Baskin, age 93, of Tinley Park, IL, passed away peacefully on August 22, 2020 with her loving family at her bedside.
Her story began in Seattle, Washington. ‘Mary Lou’ was the third daughter of recent Italian immigrants, Louis and Mary Ghetti. Sadly, she lost her mother to multiple sclerosis when she was twelve.
Life was hard growing up in the depression era without the love and guidance of a mother, but Mary Lou didn’t complain. Rather, her deprivations helped shape her self-discipline, perseverance and quiet strength.
She was a popular junior at Franklin High School when she met Donald Baskin, a charming young serviceman from Illinois at the peak of WWII in 1944.
They fell in love before he was shipped out to the Pacific Theater of War and corresponded until he returned following the armistice. Mary Lou and Don knew their union was meant to be. They married October 16th, 1945 and will celebrate their 75th anniversary together in heaven this year.
After the war, Donald had a job waiting for him in Chicago as well as roots in the Midwest, so Mary Lou relocated there with him - especially trusting considering she was only 18 and had not yet met the Baskin family. Her faith in Donald was one more of her many admirable traits – a faith that never wavered.
Mary Lou and Don bought a house on Chicago’s South Side and started their family. First came Michael and then Linda. They relocated to the suburb of Tinley Park in ’53 and their third child, Carol, was born shortly thereafter.
Mary Lou dedicated her life to her family and managing their home, packing the kids’ lunches for school, welcoming them home each day, serving a home-cooked meal for the family each evening and attending to the myriad of other responsibilities of the home.
Mary Lou had been raised Roman Catholic, but like the example of Ruth in the Bible, she committed to follow Donald’s Christian denomination – his God would be her God – and they helped start a new Baptist church in Tinley Park, a church which Mary Lou attended for the duration of her life.
The years passed, the children grew up and moved away but Mary Lou kept in close touch with each of them making regular calls and visits and becoming a loving grandmother to the seven grandchildren who survive her: the first was Christopher Shoemaker, then Brian Stamper, Bret Stamper, Bonnie (Shoemaker) Jones, Emily (Baskin) Beaghan, Roger Baskin and Eric Baskin.
Several of her grandchildren married and gave her the nine great-grandchildren who also survive her: Anthony Shoemaker, Nathan Stamper, Ben Jones, Kinsey Shoemaker, Georgia Beaghan, Bronson Stamper, Isla Beaghan, Josen Stamper and Winston Beaghan. The Lord took Donald home in 2007, but Mary Lou pressed on with life. Her family was still growing and she devoted herself to spending time with her children and their families. She assumed Don’s responsibilities around the house and continued to live a vibrant life. She especially enjoyed watching the Bears (NFL) and playing cards or dominoes way past her normal bedtime. Private family services are planned.
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