Mary Kay Alguire, age 78 of Grand Haven, loved by family and friends, passed away at home on Monday, June 14, 2021.
Born Mary Kathryn Bloss in Marlette, Michigan in 1943, Mary Kay graduated from Marlette High School where, as was her way throughout her life, she made numerous life-long friends. She graduated from Michigan State University, earning her Master’s in Special Education for the Blind. While at MSU, she met the love of her life, Thomas F. Alguire. They married in 1967, and when Dr. Alguire finished his active-duty service in the United States Air Force, they moved to Grand Haven in 1976, where she raised their three children, Amy, Katie, and Craig.
Mary Kay worked at the Illinois Institute for the Visually Impaired in Chicago while her husband completed his medical degree, and she taught in Michigan for approximately twenty years, including at the Michigan School for the Blind and later with Grand Haven Area Public Schools.
Although educated and trained as a teacher, Mary Kay’s true passion and life’s work was as a mother and grandmother. Devoted and tireless, the great joy of her life was her children and grandchildren, and she delighted in the sturdy bonds she built with each of them, including in unconventional and endearing ways like keeping Snapchat “streaks” with all of her grandchildren. Famously modest, Mary Kay nevertheless shared the quiet conviction of mothers and grandmothers everywhere that children are impossible to spoil and can do no wrong. She was very clear, however, that being kind and inclusive was a must.
Mary Kay valued kindness, humility, and whatever could be found on sale at Goodwill, Dollar Tree, and other second-hand stores -- a reflection of her genuine disinterest in status and material possessions. She was too reserved to risk offending anyone by having a bumper sticker on her vehicle that served as a swim taxi for her kids and grandkids, but if she did have one it might have said: “The most important things in life aren’t things.”
Mary Kay was raised with an egalitarian ethos that while no one was better than her, she wasn’t better than anyone else, and she always treated others accordingly. Inviting and generous, Mary Kay was relentlessly positive, and she imposed no pre-conditions to her warmth and respect. She always assumed the best in others, and she always had a kind word and something positive to say about everyone. Because of this, she made friends easily, from all walks, and she was a friend for life.
Mary Kay was a pillar in the United Methodist Church of the Dunes for decades, and, after retiring from teaching, volunteered countless hours at other places in the community, including the YMCA and Mary A. White Elementary School.
An avid crafter, Mary Kay surely could not plausibly deny that her relationship with knitting bordered on obsession, and there were even reports over the years of Mary Kay seen stopped at a traffic light, waiting for the light to change, knitting away behind the wheel. She saw knitting as a way to bring people, like threads, together, and she even organized a knitting class at Mary A. White, which she directed for 12 years until ended by Covid-19.
Although characteristically stoic, Mary Kay was profoundly saddened when her beloved son, Craig, died of brain cancer in 2019, but she was grateful for her enduring connection with him and his thriving family. Her sense of loss deepened her empathy for others experiencing their own forms of loss. Mary Kay buoyed and enriched the lives of her friends and family. They will fondly remember and miss her while living in the warm afterglow of her love.
Mary Kay is survived by her husband of 54 years, Dr. Tom Alguire; daughters, Amy (John) Ackerman and Dr. Kathryn Alguire (Brad Springer); loyal younger brother, David (Susan) Bloss; daughter-in-law, Staci Alguire; grandchildren, Anna Marie Ackerman, Kathryn Ackerman, Grace Ackerman, Mary Violet Springer, Rosalee Springer, Genevieve Springer, Allison Alguire, Connor Alguire, Elizabeth “Ella” Alguire, and Mia Alguire; brothers-in-law, James Alguire and Patrick Alguire (Barbara Mathes); nieces, Carrigan Bloss, Holly Peterson, Kristina Bloss, and Mindy Alguire; and nephews, Cory Alguire, Eben Alguire, and Ethan Alguire. She was preceded in death by her parents; and her son, Craig Alguire in 2019.
The Memorial Service for Mary Kay will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at United Methodist Church of the Dunes. Visitation will be held from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. prior to the service on Saturday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to support the charitable work of the United Methodist Church of the Dunes or the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Kay (Bloss) Alguire, please visit our floral store.