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Mary Dolores 'Del' Kotarski
© Trout Funeral Home & Crematory
Submitted by: Glenn

© Trout Funeral Home & Crematory

Mary Dolores 'Del' KOTARSKI

St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery

August 11, 1924 - February 19, 2022

Mary Dolores 'Del' Kotarski, a long-time resident of Ponca City, OK, passed away peacefully on February 19, 2022, in Ponca City. She was 97. Viewing will be held between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, Friday, February 25, 2022, at Trout Funeral Home & Crematory, with a Rosary Service at 6:00 PM. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at St. Mary's Catholic Church at 10:00 AM on Saturday, February 26, 2022, with Father Carson Krittenbrink officiating. Burial will immediately follow at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery. A reception will follow. Those unable to attend the Funeral Ceremony, may attend virtually on the Trout Funeral Home website, www.troutfuneralhome.com and click on the live-stream or toolbar icon on the top right corner after 9:45 AM. Arrangements are under the direction of Trout Funeral Home & Crematory, 505 W. Grand Ave., Ponca City, OK, 74601.

Del was born to Patrick and Rose Lynch of Whiting, Indiana on August 11, 1924. She attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and was a member of the Pi Beta Phi social sorority. Del met her husband, Joe, playing tennis in 1941, and they dated while they both attended Purdue and throughout Joe's service in Europe during World War II. Del graduated in 1946 and worked in Chicago for a few years in hospital nutrition planning. She and Joe married in 1949 in Whiting, Indiana.

Del, Joe and their young children lived for years in the same Chicago apartment building as Joe's sister, Lydia, her husband, Sigmund Deluga, and their children. Strong family bonds (if mischievous at times) were built during this period between the Kotarski and Deluga kids. Later Del and Joe and their children moved to Homewood, Illinois, and subsequently in 1959 to Ponca City when Joe became a patent attorney for Conoco.

Del made many new and long-lasting friends in Ponca City at St. Mary's Catholic Church and school and through neighborhood and social gatherings. There were many evenings over the years when the priests from St. Mary's came to the Kotarski home for dinner. She was a long-standing and still active member of several church organizations including the St. Francis Guild and the St. Elizabeth Guild. Del was also active for decades in the P.E.O. Chapter FC and the Pi Beta Phi Sorority. She also made many dear friends over the years through golfing and an untold number of bridge groups.

Del set a great example for her family to follow. In 1975 she co-chaired an effort to sponsor a family of eleven Vietnamese refugees and bring them to Ponca City. She and her team found a house, a car and jobs for several family members and enrolled their children in school. The family prospered. In the 1980s and 90s, she recorded mass every week at St. Mary's Church, made cassette copies and delivered them to elderly parish members.

Del remained very active in the community and church after her husband Joe's passing in 2005. In more recent years she gave her time to the Living Hope Pregnancy Center. For many years, Del coordinated St. Mary's annual diaper and material needs drive for Living Hope. After that, she lent a hand wherever she could at the Center and only recently retired from active volunteering.

Del was quite the sports fan. Purdue, Notre Dame, OU and OSU were her favorites, along with the pro golf tour. All four of her boys attended either OU or OSU so she had a strong connection to both schools. Her granddaughter, Tessia Smith (also a Sooner grad), made a two-sided OU/OSU football blanket. Two of her four sons have always suspected that she secretly harbored a preference for the Cowboys, but she would never tell.

She will be missed by her four sons and their wives: Neal and Jan of Dyer Indiana, Bob and Ann of El Paso Texas, Ross and Nancy of Rockville Maryland, and Joe and Stephanie of Anchorage, Alaska; as well as by her 10 grandchildren: Jon and wife Leigh Anne, Justin and wife Jennifer, Trey, Tessia and husband Russell Smith, Michael, Hannah, Madeline, Abbie, Pierce and Lachlan. She will also be missed by her 7 great-grandchildren: Ashlyn, JR, Bridges, Joseph, Ellie, Parker, and Chloe; as well as by everyone who had the opportunity to know her.

Del is survived by her sister Annette Lynch, her brother-in-law Bernard Kotarski, dear friend Sharon Bridges Kotarski and numerous nephews and nieces in the Lynch and Deluga families. She is preceded in death by her husband Joseph C. Kotarski, daughter Louann M. Kotarski and brother Danny Lynch.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either the Living Hope Pregnancy Center of Ponca City at 425 Fairview Ave., Ponca City, OK 74601 www.pregnancycenterkaycounty.com or the St. Mary's Catholic School of Ponca City Endowment Fund.

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