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Mary Jo Abad

June 19, 1943 April 14, 2011
Mary Jo Abad
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Obituary for Mary Jo Abad

Mary Jo Abad, a resident of Commerce Township, MI and former resident of Farmington Hills, died at her home in the care of her family on April 14, 2011 after a valiant fourteen-year battle with cancer. She was 67 years old.

Born in Detroit, MI on June 19, 1943, the daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann Richard Smith, Mary Jo grew up in Redford Township where she was a graduate of Thurston High School. Following high school, she attended the University of Michigan where she earned her English Degree, and later her Masters Degree in Library Science. She began her career as a librarian at Detroit Catholic Central, and after five years there, she moved to the Plymouth-Canton School District where she served as the librarian for many years at Plymouth-Canton High School and Farrand Elementary School. She witnessed the development of an entire generation of students and served as an educator and role model for nearly 25 years. It was a true joy for her in recent years to be invited by former students to their weddings.

John Abad and Mary Jo met at a diner in Detroit through a mutual friend in the summer of 1961. John was an engineering student at the University of Michigan back at home in Detroit on break when they met. They immediately fell in love and on February 2, 1963, Mary Jo married John at St. Valentine Catholic Church in Redford. After completing college together at the University of Michigan, they lived in Westland, MI where their first daughter, Debora, was born in 1969. The following year, they moved to Farmington Hills, MI where their second daughter, Denise, and son, John, were born in 1973 and 1975, respectively. They were long time parishioners at St. Fabian Catholic Church for 30 years where Mary Jo also taught religious education to the children in the congregation. Eleven years ago they moved to Commerce Township, a home Mary Jo deeply enjoyed, and joined St. Mary�s Catholic Church in Milford, MI. John and Mary Jo retired together in 2003.

Mary Jo was a member of Prayers & Squares at St. Mary�s Church and very much enjoyed time spent sewing, cooking, shopping, reading, going for walks, and traveling with her husband, John. Her days often included lunch engagements with friends, filled with sincere and candid conversations about life�s events. She took great pleasure in welcoming new neighbors and hosting parties for guests to her home. One of her passions was bicycle riding and she was found several days a week in spinning classes at her local YMCA. As a cancer patient and survivor, she participated in the Ride for the Roses in Austin, TX raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Mary Jo was a dear friend to many people throughout her life including neighborhood, church and book clubs. She enjoyed her three grandsons, Drew, Ben, and Jack--loving nothing more than sitting on the floor and playing with them, opportunities to buy them their new bikes, or to use her writing talent to create for them their own series of books, detailing the adventures of �Maggie & Herbert�.

She will always be remembered as an elegant woman, who enjoyed the simple, important things in life. Even as she battled an insidious cancer, she ever remained herself, empowered by a deep faith and her family and dear friends for whom she was always concerned about more than herself. She was gracious and selfless in her ways and spent much of her time surrounded by friends. Her blue eyes and genuine smile spread joy to all those around her and their presence would illuminate a crowded room. She acted as a second mother and sister to many and will be deeply missed.

In addition to John, her beloved husband of over forty-eight years, she is survived by her daughters, Debora (husband, Derek) Ritzel of Phoenix, AZ, Denise (fianc�, Dave Blouin) Abad of Chicago, IL; son, John (wife, Georgina) Abad of Houston, TX; grandchildren, Drew, Ben, sister, Joy (husband, Ron) Majzlik; sister-in-law, Margaret (husband, Tom) Dunn, uncle, Don (wife Wanda) Smith, and many nieces, nephews, and loving friends who join her family in mourning her passing and giving thanks to God for her life among them.

A Funeral Liturgy will be held at St. Mary�s Catholic Church, 1955 E. Commerce, Milford, on Wednesday, April 20, at 10AM with Fr. Ron Anderson officiating. Burial will follow at Milford Memorial Cemetery and a luncheon at the church will follow the committal prayers at the cemetery. Friends may visit at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 404 E. Liberty, Milford, on Monday 4-6PM and Tuesday 2-9PM, with a Rosary on Tuesday 7PM. Memorials may be made in her name to St. Jude Children�s Hospital or to The Sarcoma Foundation of America For further information please phone 248-684-6645.

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