Mary Lou Britton

LIMESTONE, MI. – Mary Lou Britton, age 90, of Limestone, and former Marquette area resident, entered eternal life Monday morning, February 24, 2014, at Munising Memorial Hospital, following a brief illness.

Born November 16, 1923 in Marquette, a daughter of Loy M. and Rhea (Gawley) Ellis, Mary Lou was raised in the Birch area near the Halfway Location, and hers was the last family to live in the Birch Depot. She attended the Powell Township School and later graduated from the Graveraet High School. In 1967, she enrolled in nursing school and received her certification as a licensed practical nurse, and was later employed at St. Mary’s Hospital.

On October 31, 1970, Mary Lou married Ronald E. Britton. Ron retired in 1975 and together the couple farmed in Dukes, Traunik, and then Limestone, where they operated a cattle and horse farm, specializing in raising miniature horses. Mary Lou possessed a tenacious spirit and oftentimes seemed rough and tough on the outside, while inside she was a softie with a heart of gold. She loved family, friends, and animals and was friendly, caring, and kind to each. Her work ethic was strong and she got the job done, expecting others to pull their share as well. She headed the horse club, “Britton’s Mini Whinnies” and earned the nickname “Sarge” from family and friends. And, you guessed it, she was feisty to the end. Mary Lou was very civic minded and served her community by being a first responder in Alger County, served on the Alger County Fair Board for ten years, and for many years, until the present, served as a trustee and deputy clerk for Limestone Township.

Survivors include her children, Jacqueline (Donald) Britton of Harvey, John (Darlene) Martin of Marquette, and Mary Ann Britton of Chatham; a step daughter-in-law, Judith Britton of Marquette; her grandchildren, Melinda (Dan) Carruth, Tim (Kayleana) Majerus, Tina (Chad) Rowley, Jacqueline Martin, Jennifer (Josh) Shaffar, Kimberley (Curt) Swenson, Andre Martin, Shelbie (Jeremy) Tucker, Chelsie Britton, Colton Graves, and Guy Britton, Scott (Emily)?Britton and Melissa Yelle; 12 grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren; her siblings, Claribel Smith of Marquette, Ralph Ellis of Manistique, Donald Ellis of Savannah, GA, and Loyola “Mickey” Steeb of Marquette; many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Mary Lou was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald in 2004; step-sons, Ronald and Dale Britton; brother and sister-in-law, Loy “Sonny” and LaVerne Ellis; sisters-in-law, Clare and Ann Ellis; brothers-in-law, Glenn Smith and Lloyd Steeb.

The family would like to acknowledge with gratitude the many kindnesses extended to Mary Lou and the family by special friends, Michael Fitzpatrick, Don and Helen Sharp. Thank you for being there.

A service and celebration honoring Mary Lou’s life will be held in Limestone this spring and will be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Alger County Animal Shelter, 510 E. Munising Avenue, Munising, MI 49862.

The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family. Condolences may be expressed online at