Mary Szlak

March 6, 1927 — April 29, 2018

Mary Szlak

Mary Szlak

Age 91 of Surprise, Arizona and formerly of Wilmington, passed away Sunday morning, April 29, 2018 at Peoria Care Center in Peoria, Arizona.

Born March 6, 1927 in Webster, South Dakota, Mary Ellen was the youngest of ten and a daughter of Edward and Mary (Breske) Tracy. She was raised and educated in Waubay, South Dakota and graduated from Waubay High School with the class of 1945. In 1949 Mary would marry Waldemar (Bud) Szlak and together they made their home and raised a family. In 1969 Bud and Mary moved to Wilmington, Illinois where they would remain until Bud’s untimely passing on June 30, 1975. To be closer to family, Mary moved to Colorado for a number of years until finding her way back to the Chicagoland area where she would meet her second husband, Joseph R. Balachowski. After years spent working within the food service industry, Mary retired at the age of 69 and together Joseph and Mary moved to Surprise, Arizona to enjoy their silver years. She was a devoted catholic who was always active in whichever parish she lived closest to and found time to participate in the Catholic Women’s Association. Mary’s number one job and favorite activity was to fulfill the duties of Mom and Grandma. Family always came first.

Survivors include her children: Gregory (Deborah) Szlak, Katherine Szlak and Jackie (Dale) Sarrazin; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brother: Dennis (LuAnn) Tracy and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, husbands: Waldemar Szlak and Joseph Balachowski, and son, Steven Szlak.

The family will receive friends for visitation on Friday, May 4, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Baskerville Funeral Home (700 East Kahler Road) in Wilmington. Funeral services will follow Saturday morning, May 5, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Rose Catholic Church, 604 South Kankakee Street in Wilmington. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with Reverend Sebastian Gargol presiding.

Burial will be in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Wilmington, where Mary will be laid to rest with her late husband, Waldemar.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Mary’s memory to the Society of St. Vincent De Paul.  (

Family and friends may sign the guest book, upload photographs or share Mary’s memorial page online by logging onto:

Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington. (815-476-2181)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Szlak, please visit our flower store.

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