Winona McCrorey

June 7, 1922 - April 27, 2015
Kalamazoo, MI



Thursday, April 30, 2015
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Food and refreshments will be served.

Driving Directions


Friday, May 1, 2015
11:00 AM EDT
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
247 West Lovell Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 345-8553
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church
247 West Lovell Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 345-8553
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Vandersalm's Flowershop and Garden Center
(269) 343-2671
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


In many ways, Winona McCrorey defined the meaning of devoted wife, dedicated mother, grandmother and great grandmother loyal friend, and a woman devoted to her faith. A true blessing, her generous spirit, giving nature and warmhearted ways was an inspiration and gift to those who loved and cared for her. Through life’s ups and downs, Winona was known to persevere, and handled all that came her way with grace. For these things and so much more, she will be deeply missed and fondly remembered with joy.

A decade of industrial expansion, the Roaring Twenties was an era of prosperity and good fortune in the U.S. With America’s thirst for entertainment, actor Charlie Chaplin was at the height of fame while the sounds of jazz lured many to the dance floor. The first edition of the beloved Reader’s Digest was published at a time when prohibition was law of the land. Yet for Leo and Gladys (King) Marlow of Kalamazoo, Michigan, nothing compared to the excitement they experienced on June 7, 1922 when they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Winona.

Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Winona grew up alongside her brother, Robert. While her father was employed by the local paper mills, her mother worked in an area restaurant, and looked after their household as a homemaker. Although the days of the Great Depression cast a shadow of economic hardship on all, it was during this time in Winona’s life when she learned the true meaning of perseverance.

Winona held fond memories of family getaways during her youth. She especially loved visiting extended family up north in Reed City where great times were enjoyed by all. She loved these road trips, and their big, drooling St. Bernard in the back seat of the car always made it an adventure. Having attended the local schools and a friend of many, Winona went on to graduate from Kalamazoo Central High School.

Even though Winona and her girlfriends often frequented the soda fountain at the area drug store, they heard about a new handsome “soda jerk” who was recently hired there. A typical group of giggling girls, they could hardly wait to sit at the counter to get a good look at him. His name was John McCrorey, and quite taken with his dimpled smile, wavy dark hair and beautiful, long eyelashes, Winona was instantly taken with John. It wasn’t long before they became good friends, and soon began a dating relationship during that summer of 1939.

Over the following three years, John and Winona came to enjoy a deep, abiding love. Happily joined in marriage in a small ceremony at the St. Augustine Catholic Church rectory on February 10, 1942, they set out to begin their new lives together. With an already meager budget and with only one day off from work, the young couple decided to forego a honeymoon. A match made in heaven, their love and devotion to one another would come to include 68 wonderful years together.

With World War II well underway, John was drafted during the war. Stationed in Oregon and lonesome for Winona, she made her way west to Oregon where they set-up house for a time. At the war’s end, they returned to Michigan to pick up where they left off. In November of 1957, Winona and John were blessed beyond compare when they adopted their daughter, Susan, a beautiful 18 month old little girl to love as their own. In 1960, they welcomed Thomas, only a few weeks old, into their hearts. With their family now complete, Winona and John raised their children in their home on Palmer and soon after Southern Ave. Quite involved in the lives of their children, together they invested their love, time, and attention into their children’s schooling and their social and emotional well being. Winona was especially active at her children’s school, volunteering often. A nurturing and loving mother, Winona disciplined with love, and always gave her children the love and support they needed, from the bottom of her heart.

Winona made a good home for John and the kids. She kept a neat, clean and orderly home. A prim and proper lady, Winona embodied a woman of the 1960s, and carried herself with grace. A good cook, too, her fried chicken dinners and mashed potatoes were family favorites, and her homemade biscuits were always craved for. Dedicated and ever devoted, Winona was always there for her family and was supportive of their endeavors. She had a way all her own of making the holidays and family times bright. When her children were older, Winona joined the working world. For several years she worked at Lee Sporting Goods, V&A Bootery and Upjohns in the 1950’s.

After retiring, Winona and John pursued their love for travel. They visited destinations such as the breathtaking Mediterranean, and they loved Greece. Even when the kids were young, they traveled throughout the U.S. making wonderful memories as a family on trips to Washington, D.C., Colorado and Yellowstone National Park.

When Winona’s beloved John passed away in March of 2010, it was difficult, yet the love and support of family and friends, and her quiet faith, saw her through. But in true Winona fashion, she pulled herself up by her bootstraps and forged on. She had much to be thankful for, and counted her many blessings. Winona continued to keep busy and active. She knew the importance of giving her time and talents to others, and enjoyed volunteering. Through the years, Winona loved working on crossword puzzles, Ken Ken, and was a talented seamstress. An avid Detroit Tigers fan, player Miguel Carbrera was currently her favorite. Working in her beautiful garden also gave her the greatest joy.

A lifelong member of St Luke’s Episcopal Church and a member of the St. Monica Guild for more than 60 years, there was plenty to occupy Winona’s time, yet family was everything to Winona. She remained a supportive and nurturing part of their lives, particularly her granddaughter, Shanna and her children, whom she dearly loved and shared a close bond. Unbiased, Winona’s love was unconditional. One to confide in, she kept the best secrets, and offered sound, loving and wise advice.

The greatest lessons Winona learned in life was perseverance and patience. She knew well that being supportive gleaned trust and her giving spirit never failed. Winona counted adopting her children and family events such as births and weddings as the greatest days of her life. She lived fully and completely, with no regrets. Gone but never to be forgotten is the heart of Winona McCrorey which lives on in every loving thought and remembrance of her.

Winona McCrorey, age 92, passed away at her home, right where she longed to be, on Monday, April 27, 2015. A resident of Kalamazoo for most of her life, she was preceded in death by her husband; her brother, Bob Marlow; and lifelong friend, Nina Bennett. Members of her family include her two children: Thomas McCrorey and Susan (Glenn) McNally; granddaughter, Shanna (Steve) Khaja; four great-grandchildren: Raiyaan, Walee, Aliza Rose and Noor; several nieces and nephews.

Learn more about Winona and visit with her family and friends on Thursday from 4-8 pm at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler–Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive, (375-2900). Services will be held on Friday. 11:00 am at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 247 W. Lovell. Burial at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Thomas, Ray and David McCrorey, Mike and Terry Marlow, and Jim Ellinger. Please visit Winona’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory and/or photo of her and sign her online guestbook. Memorials in Winona’s memory may be made to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.