Cover photo for Mary Lois Kankkonen's Obituary
Mary Lois Kankkonen Profile Photo
1924 Mary 2015

Mary Lois Kankkonen

February 26, 1924 — March 8, 2015

On March the 8th 2015, Our beloved Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, and Friend, Mary Lois (Forrester) Kankkonen went to live with our Heavenly Father. Our shared joy was her 90th birthday party held one week before her passing, joined by many old friends and family who came to celebrate. Her life was lived on her own terms, and was an independent and honorable one to her last day. She was always a lady to the end, always concerned for others. Besides her family and friends, she took great pleasure in caring for her pets and houseplants, and gardening with a green thumb. Mary could grow amazing flowers by simply rooting a tiny little leaf or seed. Her patio was a riot of color every summer, and you would find a tiny vase of blooms in every room. Visitors would always come away with a bouquet of her dahlias. She also loved to cook, and was continually prepared to whip up a tasty and nutritious meal at the drop of a hat. Her meatloaf recipe is infamous among the family. Mary started life in Waco, Texas. She was born on Feb.26th, 1925, as Mary Lois Durrett and with her parents, John ( J.W) and Edna (Swann) Durrett, later relocated to Homestead, Florida, where she attended school and ultimately graduated from Redland High School in 1942. Shortly after graduation, she and several girlfriends chose Boston as their big adventure, finding employment as telephone operators. While there, she met her future husband and love of her life, Donald Lee Forrester who was stationed in the Coast Guard. After their wedding and an assignment in Florida and his eventual discharge, they relocated to Astoria, Oregon where they lived and raised a family. Early in their marriage, Mary was a talented photo colorist for Ball Photography Studio in Astoria, producing beautiful oil portraits, many of which exist to this day. Mary & Don enjoyed many vacations & hobbies together, some of which were traveling, fishing, camping, and designing and building their beautiful family home together. During those years, Mary was active in PTA as President, and other school committees. She was also a Brownie and Girl Scout leader and managed to work part-time at Astor Court Grocery, all the while committed to raising her family. She was also an active member of The First Congregational Church and attended regularly all these years until shortly before her death. Some years later, Mary and Don divorced, and she met and fell in love with lifelong Astorian, Robert (Bob) Kankkonen. They were married in 1973. Bob was a great guy who embraced his new "family" with enthusiasm, having had no children of his own. They were married for 25 happy years before Bob passed away in 1998. During those years, Mary worked at Owl Drug, and for Home Bakery and Danish Maid Bakery. She also became a CNA for the State, caring for the elderly. After "retiring", Mary volunteered in the Columbia Memorial Hospital Gift Shop for many years, a "job" she dearly loved. Mary is survived by her children: Linda Forrester, Jim Forrester (Georgia), and Susan Enslow (David) all of Astoria. Her 4 Grandchildren: Pamela Rutledge (Jeff) Arlington, Wa., Derek Ivanoff (Tina) Olympia, Wa., Aimee Ivanoff, Alameda, Cal., & Tracy Brawley (Andrew)of Beaverton. 6 Great-Grandchildren: Jacob Rutledge (Mary), Peri Ostergaard, Andrea Ivanoff, Eric Ivanoff, Olivia McVay & Norah Brawley. 3 Great-Great Grandchildren, Bryson, Clayton & Caelum Rutledge, and dear friend and family member, Elaine Rutledge. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and their families, Richard, Dan & David Kelly and Laura Bohm all of Astoria. She would also like us to mention 2 young women who played a big part in her later years: Jasa and Jenny. Since her family and friends had just celebrated her life a week before her passing, a private memorial by immediate family was held. * *She was so very loved and will be forever missed by all of us.** If anyone would like to remember Mary in the form of a memorial gift, please make a contribution in her name to: The First Congregational Church at 820 Alameda, Astoria, Oregon 97103
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Lois Kankkonen, please visit our flower store.

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