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Mary T. Rushlau

July 13, 1937 - December 26, 2016
Redford Township, MI



Thursday, December 29, 2016
2:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
(734) 525-9020

Rosary at 7 pm

Driving Directions


Friday, December 30, 2016
11:00 AM EST
Our Lady of Loretto
17116 Olympia
Redford Twp, MI 48240

Instate at 10:30am

Life Story / Obituary


In everything she did, Mary Rushlau was a blessing to those around her. It was easy to see that her unwavering faith was the cornerstone on which her life was built, and her touch was truly selfless. A loving wife and devoted mother, Mary lived to nurture and care for her family, and she was filled with unspeakable joy to witness her family tree blossom to include the grandchildren she adored. As her family and friends can attest, Mary didn’t go anywhere without seeing someone she knew as she had a warm and inviting personality that drew others near with ease. Blessed to share the majority of her life with her true love, she experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer. Deeply loved, Mary will be forever missed.

Life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were hard to find, the unemployment rate soared, and things only became more dire when a drought crippled our nation’s heartland for nearly two years during this time. Despite the trials around them, Giuseppe and Vincenza DeSantis were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their own lives as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the heat of the summer covered the city of Detroit, Michigan, in 1937. The big day finally arrived on July 13th when the baby girl they named Mary T. drew her first breath. Born and raised in Detroit, she was one of four children in the DeSantis family as she grew up alongside her brothers, John, Patrick, and Albert. To support their family, Mary’s father worked in construction while her mother was a cook at a local school.

In many ways Mary was a young girl of her generation. She was very close to her family and loved being with her cousins, Doreen, Frankie, and Ronnie. In fact, Mary and Doreen were partners in crime who were known for getting into mischief as they became teens. She loved playing dolls, although she wasn’t against breaking one over her brother Albert’s head on one occasion! From the time she was a young girl Mary loved the church. As a teen she loved dancing and even took lessons at Fred Astaire Studios. Mary attended local schools and received her high school diploma from Denby High School and then received a medical assistant degree from Henry Ford.

New and exciting changes were in store for Mary when she met the man of her dreams. His name was Elton Rushlau II, and they were introduced by his mother as she and Mary worked together at J.L Hudson’s. The couple was quickly smitten, and they began dating. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Mary and Elton were married, marking a new chapter in a love story that would span 53 years. For the rest of her life she forever viewed her wedding day as the best day of her life. Together Mary and her husband welcomed four children including Elton III, Joseph, Matthew, and Anna into their hearts and home. Mary loved being all together as a family, and she had a way of bringing people together. When her family grew to include grandchildren, she was over the moon thrilled. She was there to watch her children and grandchildren participate in sports and activities as often as she could, and Mary loved being involved in her family’s activities.

In addition to caring for her family, Mary kept busy in numerous other ways. She loved traveling, and over the years she went to places like Italy, Scotland, Spain, Las Vegas, and San Diego. The church was the center of her life, and she was devoted to St. Theresa, the little flower. Mary was very Involved in school groups, church groups, and the Italian American Society, and she loved her collectibles, especially Precious Moments. Mary was a huge fan of the Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers, and she liked swing music as well. It was commonplace that whenever going someplace with Mary, she would run into someone she knew. Over the years she also worked outside of the home, putting her medical assistant training to use in various environments. As she grew older, Mary continued to delight in her family. She was so blessed to have Elton come visit her every day while at living at Manor of Farmington Hills.

All who knew Mary Rushlau would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was the matriarch of her family that grew to include the loved ones who were her greatest source of pride and joy. Mary was selfless when it came to others, and through the life she lived she exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved. Life will never be the same without Mary here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.

Mary T. Rushlau passed away December 26, 2016. Mary’s family includes her husband, Elton; four children; and 10 grandchildren. Family will receive friends Thursday from 2-9 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Rosary at Neely Turowski Funeral Home 30200 Five Mile (Between Middlebelt and Merriman), Funeral Mass will be held Friday, 11 a.m., Instate 10:30 at Our Lady of Loretto in Redford Township. To sign the online guestbook please visit www.TurowskiLifeStory.com