Mary Lou Watzek, 81, of Parkersburg, W.Va., died Jan. 7, 2013, in her home following a battle with lung cancer.
Mary Lou was born Dec. 21, 1931 in Maben, W.Va., the youngest child of Clyde and Mae Shipman (known by everyone as "Mam").
After attending high school in St. Albans, W.Va., Mary Lou received one year of education at Marshall University before transferring to and graduating from St. Marys School of Nursing in Huntington, W.Va. The majority of her nursing career was spent at St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg. During her 27 years of service there, most especially when she acted as Discharge Planning Nurse and later as Patient Care Coordinator of Clinical Admitting, Mary Lou touched the lives of almost every patient who entered St. Joseph's Hospital, and their families as well. Her concern, compassion, fierce determination and sense of humor were well known among her patients, colleagues, friends and family.
After retirement, Mary Lou continued to share her nursing skills and compassion as a CNA instructor and Faith Link volunteer. She loved to play golf, watch sports, attend Mass and visit, pray for and tease her friends and family. She took care of her family, friends, neighbors and even complete strangers.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings and their spouses: Jack and Gladys (Goody) Shipman, Ann (Shipman) Crews and her husband Eddy, Tom Shipman and Mary Lou's dearly loved sister-in-law Mary Iva (Shannon) Shipman, and their daughter Sally Ann (Shipman) Barrett. Mary Lou's great nephew Jeff Shipman also preceded her in death.
Her surviving family includes her children and their families: Mary Elizabeth (Watzek) Bougher and her husband John Bougher; Deacon William Watzek and his wife Laura (Miller) Watzek, and her youngest daughter Margaret Watzek. Mary Lou deeply loved her grandchildren and their families: Jessica Watzek and her children Laura and Emily; James Watzek and his wife Kim (Lorch) Watzek and their son Zachary; Brother Francis Mary, OFM (born Shannon Bougher), Dylan Bougher and Casey Bougher.
Especially dear to Mary Lou were her surviving nieces and nephews. Robert Shipman and his wife Marilyn and their son Andy Shipman, Ned Crews, Mary Ann (Crews) Thompson and her husband Bob, Barbara Crews, Thomasina (Shipman) Schaffer and her husband Joseph, and Rebecca Shipman-Hurst. Mary Lou loved her great nephews and nieces: Eric, Jason and Michael Barrett (her godson), Andy and Matt Schaffer, Melinda Nelson Hurst and Amy Hurst. Mary Lou's family also included dear and close friend Patricia Vincent.
May Lou was a devout Roman Catholic and served her parish of St. Margaret Mary for many years. Her wake service will be Friday, Jan. 11, 7-9 p.m. at Leavitt Funeral Home, with Deacon William Watzek officiating. The funeral will be held at St. Margaret Mary on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 11 a.m. with the Very Reverend Monsignor Joseph Peterson presiding.
Please make donations to the Matthew 25 ministry of St. Margaret Mary Parish, 2500 Dudley Avenue, Parkersburg, WV 26101.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.LeavittFuneralHome.com