Daughter, sister, nurse, wife, mother, poet, singer, baker, friend Mary Kaye LaRussa passed peacefully surrounded by love and comfort with many friends and family on July 20, 2019.
Mary Kaye was the fourth in a family of 11 children, born September 13, 1955 She attended Our Lady of Fatima School and Holy Names Academy. She was well-known for her terrific sense of humor. She met her husband, Robert (Bob) Houk, at CYO Camp Don Bosco; both worked in the health office. She served as camp nurse. Bob went on to become a physician assistant and had a 30-year career with Group Health. For 25 years, Mary Kaye worked as a neonatal nurse at the University of Washington.
Both she and Bob lovingly and proudly raised Nathaniel and Anna, on Bainbridge Island in a home they built. She always modeled unconditional support and love of her children. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005 and underwent several surgeries and serious illnesses. She was always brave, kept a positive attitude and never lost her sense of humor. A year ago, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She met that challenge with more courage and, again, with great humor. Inspite of her struggles, she always inspired others with a word of hope, a joy for life as it was, and a witty comment. She lived the serenity prayer. That was one of her legacies. She will be greatly missed, as will her peaceful acceptance of whatever life brought and her non-judgmental love for others.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Gloria LaRussa, and brother, John Joseph. Survivors include Bob, Nathaniel and Anna, as well as large loving families on both sides (LaRussas and Houks).
A Catholic Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Fatima Church
3218 W Barrett St, on August 1, Thursday, at 10:00 am with a luncheon reception to follow. There will be a private family service laying her to rest.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Guestbook @ harveyfuneral.com