WOMAN WITH TERMINAL CANCER SHARES WORDS OF WISDOM (MOST POWERFUL SPEECH EVER!!!)
Mary Jo Hartman
January 19, 1959 - January 6, 2016
Despite a nearly four-year battle with ovarian cancer Mary Jo Hartman pursued postgraduate studies for a master’s degree in social work, receiving her diploma from Wayne State University just weeks before she succumbed to the disease.
Known by all for her upbeat outlook, she continued working two part-time jobs, pursuing the course work for her master’s and being a super mom and wife, despite numerous operations, other hospitalizations and chemotherapy treatments.
In mid-November, given only weeks to live, Mary Jo fought to remain alive through Christmas for her family. On Christmas night, more than 50 neighbors and friends gathered to serenade her with Christmas carols at her home in South Lyon where she had lived for 25 years with her husband, Fred R. LaFevre and their now adult daughters, Kaitlyn and Sarah.
Mary Jo, beloved wife, mother, sister, cousin and friend, died on the morning of January 6, 2016, Epiphany, the Feast of the Three Kings, at the age of 56. In addition to her husband and daughters, she is survived by sister Kathy (Bill) Feld, brother Dan (Patti) Hartman, and sisters Ann (and the late Ken) Meck and Joyce (and the late Leo) Marino. Maureen Braun, Cheryl Keefe and Susan Duffy, along with Mary Jo, known by all as the Fab Four, also survive her. Parents Robert and Lynn Hartman predeceased her.
Born on January 19, 1959, in Detroit, Mary Jo lived in Orchard Lake, Southfield and South Lyon for all of her life. She graduated from Southfield High School in 1977, earned an associate’s degree in journalism from Oakland Community College and received her bachelors degree from Madonna University in 2009.
In December, Mary Jo’s Master’s in Social Work diploma was hand-delivered to her at home by the dean of the school of social work and by her advisor.
Mary Jo and Fred met in 1981. Rumor has it, Fred was smitten and it was love at first sight. They were married on October 16, 1987 at St. Hugo of the Hills in Bloomfield Hills.
For the past 17 years, Mary Jo focused her professional and volunteer activities on counseling and advising teenagers. She served as the youth minister at two churches (St. Genevieve/St. Maurice Parish in Livonia and St. Joseph Parish in South Lyon), as a residential technician at a family crisis center (Starfish Family Services in Inkster) and as a community liaison at a youth homeless center (Covenant House Michigan).
Mary Jo’s unwavering commitment to helping others has inspired many. Those who loved her best, say that she was defined by her faith, her love of family and her service to others.
Even during her illness, Mary Jo focused her time and energy on helping those in need and doing everything she could to make the world a better place. Her mantra became: “I can’t die yet, I’m not done saving the world”. She also said “I’m going to keep living my life until there there’s no life left in me.” And she did.
Donations in memory of Mary Jo may be made to Covenant House of Michigan 2959 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208
You are blessed and you are a blessing!