But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
  • 86 years old
  • Born on April 12, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
  • Passed away on April 15, 2011 in Crystal Lake, Illinois, United States.

This memorial website was created in the memory of Mary Kirkwood who was born on April 12, 1925 and passed away on April 15, 2011. She was a wife and ministry partner to James; a mother to Rachel, Nathan, Stephen, Bethel and John; a Grandmother to Danny, Grace, Tommy, Konnor, Karter and Payton; and an inspiration and comfort to an untold multitude.

Memorial Service for Mary Kirkwood held on April 21st, 2011. 

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. 
(Proverbs 31:28-31 KJV)
Spes Mea En Deo!


Posted by Angie Tackett on April 12, 2019
Remembering Mary today as it was her birthday. Miss you dear Mary. Happy heavenly birthday.
Posted by Dionna Gustafson on April 12, 2019
Thinking about Mary today. I don’t know if they celebrate birthdays in heaven but Happy Birthday Mary. 
John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Posted by Dionna Gustafson on April 14, 2017
She was an inspiration to us all,
The weak, the wounded, the weary, and the small
And who could count the seeds sweet Mary sowed
Save the One who gave her seeds to sow,
As bright reflected light Sweet Mary shone.
Steady as the Stone on which sweet Mary built her home, her countenance would light up the darkest day you've known. Some look death in the face and find it scary. Not sweet Mary, no, she understood.
The self portrait that sweet Mary would paint, would show her as less than the least of saints, but we all know better, yes, we all know better she was...she was...steady as the Stone on which sweet Mary built her home, her countenance would light up the darkest day you've known.
Some look death in the face and find it scary. Not sweet Mary, no, she understood, she'd always known, then there she stood, before His throne, she laid there still, a final breath, we felt her go, and she was home. Sweet Mary's home.

Lyrics for Sweet Mary, by Drew Gustafson
Posted by Cassie DiFonzo on April 16, 2015
I will always remember Mary for her beautiful smile, big heart and all of her words of wisdom. Thanks to Mary and Jim, I was able to make it through a very difficult time. Her advice to me when I became anxious was to refer to Philippians 4:6 "In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. I am very blessed and forever grateful for having known such a beautiful soul.
Posted by John Kirkwood on April 12, 2015
Today is Mary's 90th birthday and she owns the pleasure of celebrating with her creator. Happy Birthday, Mom!
Posted by Rozanne Krolikowski on November 23, 2014
Still striving to be even half the woman you were. Thanks for showing me how God can shine though us.
Posted by John Kirkwood on April 12, 2014
Happy Birthday Mom! See you soon!
Posted by Sue Healy on April 12, 2014
I'll always remember Mary's kind and happy heart. Many Sundays after church we would talk of our love for our Lord Jesus -- sharing our faith, and life and also our fondness for knitting. She and I both made blue sweaters for our husbands (earlier in our lives). I hope when I see her again in Heaven our Lord has put us together in His "sewing department" -- praising Him while we work always for His glory.
Posted by Faith Miedema Nobile on November 8, 2013
Mary was one of kind in the most amazing way.
Posted by John Kirkwood on November 7, 2013
And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.
And the Lord will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
Those from among you will rebuil
Posted by Jay Doty on November 3, 2013
It was always such a comfort to walk into church and see Mary smile at you from the back row as if to say "welcome" for me that was all of the 1990's All of eternity remains to be reunited!
Posted by John Kirkwood on April 24, 2013
Mom led many people to the Lord and counseled many, many more; sometimes those that were suicidal and in deep despair. She would share the Gospel with my friends when they came over, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." It didn't mean much to me at the time, though now it is very, very precious.
Posted by John Kirkwood on April 12, 2013
Happy Birthday Mom! Your ministry still grows and glorifies the Lord in whom you now share time! I miss you and at the same time, am glad that you're home.
Posted by Kathy McLennan on April 12, 2013
She had the kindest face- and the most encouraging voice. A treasure.
Posted by Suzanne Schulz on April 13, 2012
It is hard to believe that Aunt Mary has been dead a year. I really miss her!!
Posted by Judy Rice on May 4, 2011
Mary was one of the first to welcome me at church. She was an example of how a gentle smile, some kind words or a gentle touch can make such a difference and have so much impact on a person. She was truly a woman after God's own heart.
Posted by John Kirkwood on May 1, 2011
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. For the love of Christ compels us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: The Love of Christ motivated my mother in all and she always led with the Love of Christ.
Posted by Andre DeLano on May 1, 2011
Mary was special, kind & loving, to my entire family. She loved the Lord, Jim & her family faithfully... & because of that, I believe God answered my prayer & allowed us to enter Jim & Mary's ministry. Mary's mentoring effected us and we are thankful
Posted by Marion Hardin on April 22, 2011
Mary was my Aunt. I was so blessed to have her in my life. She was the most positive person I have ever known and the best Aunt ever. I regret that I didn't live in Chicago for so many years and was not able to see Aunt Mary as often as I would ha
Posted by R M on April 21, 2011
Mary's warm smile and kind words will always be remembered...Bob Mecca
Posted by Danielle De Velasco on April 21, 2011
mary kirkwood was one of the kindest and most loving women i have ever known. i will always remember her warm smile, as she greeted everyone on sunday mornings. i can't begin to imagine her joy as she has seen HIM. - from corinne and danielle
Posted by Louise Young on April 21, 2011
We sorrow and rejoice with you knowing Mary is absent from our presence, but that she is present with our Lord, which is far better!
Many memories flashed through our minds this past week. All of them painted a picture of a humble Proverbs 31 woman
Posted by David Visintine on April 21, 2011
Our deepest sympathy to the Kirkwood Family. We were fortunate to have her warm greetings at Sunday service and to have a view of a person who so conspicuously loved the Lord.
 Sincerely, The Visintines
Posted by Sue Healy on April 20, 2011
I am so much richer in my Christian walk because of knowing Mary. We often talked of how wonderful it will be to be with our Lord Jesus in Heaven one day. I look forward to seeing her smiling face and sparkling eyes again.
Posted by Pat Cuevas on April 20, 2011
Mary's life was truly a reflection of Christ's love; our world is darker for her having left it. I will miss her light! Pat Cuevas
Posted by Rhonda Tyus Johnson on April 20, 2011
Dear Mary, it was a priviledge knowing you! I am thankful for the warmth, love and encouragement you showed me at our assembly. I am so excited to know that "you are 'now in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ,' where there is fullness of joy!"
Posted by Angie Tackett on April 20, 2011
It was a privilege to know such a righteous soul. We will miss her sweet little face smiling at us. I'm thankful to know that Mary is in such a wonderful place beside our Lord. We will miss her deeply.
Posted by Bob Brown on April 20, 2011
I will always praise God for you, Mary, for what you meant to me and my family! I know you enjoyed, and I will always treasure, the discussions you, me and Jim had when we went for our ice cream treat! God bless 'til we meet again....
Posted by Ed Bitautas on April 20, 2011
Being the wife and mother of a pastor, she had deep insights into the Word of God. When she talked about our Lord, there was a slight change in her voice that let you know she really meant it. If there is a sweeter woman on earth, I haven't met her.
Posted by Cassie DiFonzo on April 19, 2011
Our prayers are with you and your family.......
Mary was one of the most beautiful people I have ever known.....inside and out. She truly loved the Lord with all of her heart and was a servant in every way.
I will always remember her beautiful sm
Posted by Rebecca Freeman on April 19, 2011
Thank you Mary for your smiling face everytime walking into the church. Thank you for smiling at Colin when he was little I will aways remember that. I'm blessed for knowing you. See you in the clouds.
Posted by Lynn Keller on April 19, 2011
Mary oozed grace and kindness. You always saw her with a smile.She had such an easy laugh and just a sweet nature. She was such a great example of how wonderful God's grace is. We will miss you, but we rejoice in your home going.
Posted by Audrey WALKER on April 19, 2011
We have known Mary for nearly 40 years. Such a sweet woman she has always been,the perfect example of a Phillipian woman. We have lost her but she has gained Heaven. We grieve with the assembly but rejoice in her homegoing. Denver and Audrey Walker
Posted by Judy Mihigan on April 19, 2011
When I look at the photo of Payton grasping Mary's hand, I remember many times Mary's hand reached out to greet me, it was always warm and welcoming a sincere gesture she was glad to see me. Her hands were always busy in The Lord's work. 
Posted by Kathy Cozzi on April 19, 2011
What a privilege it was for my family and I to know Mary Kirkwood. Remembering her loving smile, her caring words or listening to her enthusiasm in bringing the message of our Lord to all who would listen.
Posted by Suzanne Schulz on April 19, 2011
Aunt Mary used to tell my twin sister and me that the day we were born was the happiest day of her life. She always had a positive thing to say about everyone and everything. She will be missed.
Posted by Nancy Johnson on April 19, 2011
Mary lived her Faith! She was everyone's Mom! We all
knew that she loved us. Thank you to the Kirkwood family for sharing her with us for so many years! She will be missed, but I know that our Lord was
thrilled to welcome her into Heaven!
Posted by Mark Sanderson on April 19, 2011
The Sanderson's have known the Kirkwoods since the mid-seventies. We've been blessed with clear Bible guidance and Mary's wonderful smile and thoughtful words, she would personalize with each one of us. Our families have shared successes & sadness.
Posted by Floria Brown on April 19, 2011
I will always remember your beautiful contagious smile. Thanks for welcoming my family to Grace Gospel in 1990 and sharing your words of wisdom and Godly parental advice for raising our daughters. I am blessed to have known such a beautiful Christian
Posted by Doreen Bitautas on April 19, 2011
I always wanted to get to church early so that I could have Mary to myself for a few minutes before everyone else got there.  She made me feel like I was her very favorite person in the world. I loved her and I will miss her.
Posted by Cathy Michaels on April 19, 2011
Mary made our family feel welcome from the very first day and always had a smile and a kind word to share. Heaven is surely celebrating her arrival!
Posted by Carole Wilson on April 19, 2011
Mary and I had such wonderful visits together and I always left knowing her love for me, and for her family and for our church family. It gives me such peace deep down to have known a person that so loved the Lord and to be so sure that she is happy
Posted by Julie Wright on April 19, 2011
It was truly an honor to get to know this remarkable woman - I will always remember being welcomed by her glowing, sweet smile! How lucky to be surrounded by so much love to the end of her earthly life - surely she is dancing the streets of heaven!
Posted by Denise Diviak on April 19, 2011
We bonded the first time we met..that was back in 1987. I took her on as my mama and I became her daughter. My heart hurts and yet I am so very happy for her. I miss her " your one in a million" to all of the times she would yell at me for over worki
Posted by Denise Diviak on April 19, 2011
working in baking for the coffee ministry. She loved yellow cake with chocolate frosting ;) We had wonderful conversations over the phone and she loved talking about the Lord and His word. She always remembered my birthday. As a matter of fact...I ha
Posted by Denise Diviak on April 19, 2011
had visited her a month and a half ago and after talking with her a bit...she said March 1st out of the clear blue sky..and I smiled and said you remembered and she said yes...and that was with her having a difficult time remembering anything. We the
Posted by Denise Diviak on April 19, 2011
then would do this kissing game. She would kiss me and then I her..she then would say she wanted more so we would keep kissing each other. I will definitely miss her kisses :( I am a better person for having had Mama in my life. I thank the Lord for
Posted by Denise Diviak on April 19, 2011
her and I pray that the rapture happens quickly so that we can be together again and worshipping our Lord the way it was intended! I love you Mama. See you soon
Posted by Linda Kmiec on April 19, 2011
Dear John & Wendy
    Thinking of you in your time of sorrow
Your ma must have been a wonderful lady
I will think of you and keep you in my prayers
I will keep a candle lit in her memory.
Posted by Linda Kmiec on April 19, 2011
Dear John & Wendy & Family
Your Ma will watch over you even more now, a Little Star in the sky will twinkle down and be with you forever

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