Mary Ellen Layman Radka, of Niles

Published 8:32 am Monday, March 24, 2014

April 3, 1928 — March 22, 2014

Mary Ellen Layman Radka

Mary Ellen Layman Radka

Mary Ellen Layman Radka, 85, of Niles, died at 3:55 a.m. on Saturday, March 22, 2014, after a day full of family and visitors celebrating her life at the home of her daughter in Granger, Ind., following an extended illness.

She was born on April 3, 1928, in Jackson, Mich. to Carl V. and Constance (Gnoza) Lee.

She was graduated from Jackson High School, and has lived in Niles since 1959. She was employed at Simplicity Pattern Company in Niles for 30 years prior to retirement. She was then employed for many years at Tyler Automotive, often transporting customers in the courtesy car. She enjoyed winters in Florida, and the last several weeks at her daughter’s home in Granger.

Mary was a member of Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles. She was a prolific cook and baker. Her cooking was an extension of her love for her family, who will continue to share the love through a “Memory Cookbook” that she developed. Her baking is well remembered by fellow employees at Simplicity and Tyler’s, and many other neighbors and friends throughout the community.

She had a loving, caring, and fun personality, and never turned-away anyone in need.

She was first married in February of 1948 to George Cowe. Later, on September 26, 1961, in Niles she married Pierre Andre “Pete” Layman, who preceded her in death on April 14, 1985. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Ann Houser.

Surviving family includes her children, Ann Cowe of Granger, Robert (Loraine) Cowe of Richland, Mich., George Cowe of Del Ray Beach, Fla. and David (Nancy) Cowe of Niles; grandchildren Jacob Cowe, Chelsea Cowe, Ben (Jenn) Cowe, Shailah (Jason) Nowlin, Jody (Waylend) Tittle, Mathew Cowe, and Jillian Cowe; great-grandchildren Aria Nowlin, Serynn Nowlin, Halee Tittle, Jacoy Powell, and Sierra Cowe; and many nieces and nephews.

The Mass of Christian Burial for Mary Layman Radka will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 27, 2014, at Saint Mary Catholic Church by the Rev. David Otto. Committal Rites will follow at Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles.

The family will receive relatives and friends on Wednesday from 5 until 8 p.m. at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles with recitation of The Rosary at 7:30 p.m. Contributions in memory of Mary may be made to an organization of the donor’s choice.