Friday, March 12, 2021
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
The Rosary will be prayed beginning at 8 PM.
Saturday, March 13, 2021
11:00 AM EST
St. Anthony of Padua Church
2510 Richmond NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Family and friends are invited to visit together at church beginning at 10 AM
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
3511 Leonard Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Kids Food Basket
1300 Plymouth Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Dorothy Marckini blessed the lives of so many. She loved giving to others through the wonderful things she made in her kitchen, and no one ever left her home hungry. It was easy to see Dorothy’s deep devotion to her family, and she was happiest when surrounded by the love of her family and friends. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her friends and loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
Life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, the unemployment rate soared, and things only became more trying when a drought covered our nation’s heartland for nearly two years during this time. Despite the trials around them, John Hugh and Mary Eva McCarty were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their lives as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Dorothy Louise on July 15, 1936, in Weir, Mississippi. The fourth of six children in her family, Dorothy and her family moved around quite a bit due to her father’s work. Oftentimes they moved between Arkansas and Mississippi. She spent many childhood hours pricking and working her fingers raw picking cotton in the humidity and heat of the South, yet she still found time to play her favorite games of kick-the-can, hide-n-go-seek, tag, and mummy peg (a pocket knife flipping game she claims she won at much more than lost at). In 1937, the McCarty family moved to Monticello, Arkansas. In 1948 Dorothy moved to Itta Bena, Mississippi, and then in December of 1953 she moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Finally, in January of 1954, her family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where job opportunities looked much brighter. They initially lived in a home on Ransom Street, NE, but they moved to Coate Street, SW in the summer of 1956.
Upon her arrival in the cold, Dorothy jumped right into life. She began working as a nurse’s aide at Butterworth Hospital for nearly a year. Although she had the temperament and caregiving personality, she disliked needles and blood so her dreams of becoming a nurse never came to fruition. From there Dorothy worked a few other jobs including at National Plating, then Armour Meat and then at a meat packaging plant called Swift, where she eventually started working in the office as bookkeeper and payroll clerk. Several years later, Dorothy worked as an office clerk at the Sheet Metal Local Union 410 Insurance Office. That same year, in 1989, she managed to graduate from Kenowa Hills High School as she only finished school through her junior year in Arkansas and Mississippi.
Although she worked hard, once she was in Grand Rapids Dorothy made some friends and enjoyed some fun times as well. She very much enjoyed her train ride to Lansing and then Detroit for a movie and Tigers baseball game with her Mississippi transplant cousin, Martha McCarty. There were also the many memories Dorothy made with Martha and Esther Boult when they were watching movie shows, shopping, going to ice cream and soda fountains, hair salons, and the beach at Grand Haven. While worked at National Plating, Dorothy met friends Mary Jane Gregorski and Ray Williams who eventually would marry. Through a bunch of mutual friendships, she was set up on a blind date with Ronald Marckini. A relationship developed, and they were married about a year later, moving to Hillcrest Avenue NW, in Grand Rapids. Together they were blessed with five sons, Michael Duane, Anthony John, Phillip John, Joseph Richard and Ronald Paul Jr. In the spring of 1965, the Marckini family moved to Kinney Avenue NW, in Walker, Michigan.
Dorothy managed a home and raised her boys in a way that made it all seem effortless. Although she did eventually did learn to drive, she relied on others and much of her shopping that was done close to home since she never really liked driving. When needed, Dorothy could discipline her boys, but she gave them plenty of leeway beforehand, often telling them, “Go outside and play.” She loved to cook and freely used that gift to help others as she lovingly prepared homemade meals and desserts for weddings, parties, graduations, funerals, and for any other sort of reason. Dorothy’s nephews, nieces and sons’ friends were consistently enticed and awed with smells of homemade pizzas, pastas, sauces, breads, cinnamon rolls, lemon éclairs, cream puffs, and pasta fagioli. Many Sundays found Dorothy’s home laden with the smells of roast beef and mashed potato dinners feasts, and these mouthwatering aromas often spilled out into the neighborhood on Kinney Avenue. Following the meal, there were often lazy naps on the carpeted floors that always left the feeling of security, safety and love. Although there were store bought canned goods, Dorothy also canned her own tomatoes, corn, pickles, peaches, pears, apple sauces, jellies, and more. She always loved gardening and also had flower beds around the house. An amazing homemaker, she loved sewing and made a lot of clothes for herself and others.
Over the years Dorothy was always one to keep busy. She converted to Catholicism in 1958 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Valley Avenue, SW, and her faith was foundational throughout the rest of her life. While living on Kinney, she was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church and later worshipped and revered our Lord at Saint Anthony of Padua on Richmond Street in Grand Rapids. Dorothy spent her later years in prayer. Although she wasn’t much of a camper or a swimmer herself, Dorothy planned and cherished numerous extended family backyard campfires with marshmallows, hotdogs, stories, homemade goodies, and refreshing dips in the swimming pool. For many years, Dorothy spent several hours next door making ceramics with her friend, Dorothy Bergsma, only to have her children break countless pieces. She enjoyed her road trips to Florida and Mississippi that were planned around family, visiting with her sister, Helen Gibbs and family, in Union City, Tennessee. Dorothy also visited Helen when she moved to Saint Louis, Missouri, and Mokena, Illinois. Independent and resilient, she survived a house fire at the home on Kinney, and after that she was able to live with a few of her sons for many more years.
In her later years, Dorothy continued to make the most of the days she was given. She enjoyed lunches and dinners with her grandchildren, her friend Dorothy Bergsma, and her Aunt Jeanne Bianchi. Although much of her life was spent around her home, she had a few close friends and really enjoyed talking on the phone as well. When it came to music, Dorothy enjoyed the sounds of Patsy Cline, Dean Martin, Loretta Lynn, and Johnny Cash as well as Christmas music and country western music from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. When she needed additional care, Dorothy slowed down a bit and moved toYorkshire Manor.
All who knew Dorothy Marckini would agree that she was beautiful on the inside and out. Her unique laugh was infectious, and she counted everything in life as pure joy, even when life wasn’t easy. Dorothy’s passion for serving others was unmatched, and her love for her family was easy to see. She will never be forgotten.
Dorothy Louise Marckini, age 84 of Walker, passed away March 8, 2021. She is survived by her children Michael (Roseann), Anthony “Tony” (Shelly), Phillip, Joseph (Elizabeth) and Ronald (Jen) Marckini; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sister, Helen Gibbs; sister-in-law Betty McCarty; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, John and Eva McCarty; siblings Bill (Betty) McCarty, Paul McCarty, Jim “John” McCarty and Donald McCarty.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, March 13 at 11 AM at St. Anthony of Padua Church. Family and friends are invited to visit with her family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW on Friday from 2-4 and 6-8 PM and on Saturday at the church beginning at 10 AM. The Rosary will be prayed at the funeral home on Friday evening at 8 PM. Interment at Rosedale Memorial Park will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, Dorothy’s family suggests memorial contributions to Yorkshire Manor, the Area Agency on Aging of West Michigan, Spectrum Health Hospice, Kid’s Food Basket or a charity of your choice. To read more about Dorothy’s life, to share a memory or photo, or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com