Mary Jo Mileski, age 89, of St. Louis Park, passed away surrounded by her loving family on Wednesday, September 1st, 2021, at Riverside Assisted Living in Pillager, Minnesota. Survived by her children Wayne, Richard and Alan (Mary); 8 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents Hugh Francis and Veronica Agnes McLaughlin, husband Richard “Dick” Mileski, son Howard Mileski and sister Jeanette Sullivan
Mary Jo was born August 15th, 1932, in Minneapolis on Emerson Ave where she grew up. On August 25th, 1950, she married the man of her dreams, Dick Mileski, at the Basilica of St. Mary’s. They then bought a home in St. Louis Park in 1953, which is still our home today and the home that all of us boys grew up in, over 68 years. Mary Jo’s early married life, besides being a mother and homemaker to four boys, is that she worked for the Minnesota Society for the Blind and was the bookkeeper for our family business of Hopkins Radiator.
Mary Jo and husband Dick had many passions and hobbies in life. Many days and nights were spent boating with family and friends on Lake Minnetonka. Motorcycling on numerous trips with biking friends. Mary Jo drove her own Honda Silver Wing and impressed everybody with her ability to handle a big motorcycle. Mary Jo and Dick shared a great passion and talent for music. Especially country, country swing, polkas and waltzes. Dick played the steel guitar while Mary Jo played bass guitar and accordion. Many weekends they were off playing at weddings, ballrooms, bars and barn dances. One group they were in was called the “Kountry Aires“, which also included their son Howie who played drums.
After Dick’s passing, Mary Jo stayed very active with her playing cards, dancing, community service and with her music. She was a cribbage-aholic. Never too early or too late to play one more game. Every game for a quarter. She was obsessed with this game, and we all share great memories of this time with her. Mary Jo was also an active tap dancer. She was a member of the St. Louis Park’s Satin Dolls senior tap dancers and performed at many venues including a Timberwolves game. Later she danced for the Hopkins Raspberries dance line. Then in 2012 she was elected the Senior Raspberry Queen of Hopkins and travelled the state of Minnesota for a year representing that great town. She also became very active with her accordion music. Mary Jo would play solo for one hour every Thursday, entertaining seniors at the Lenox Community Center for the weekly Ballroom Dance. Her performances were all recorded and put on YouTube, and to this day, is the most requested YouTube videos on St. Louis Park’s site.
But Mom’s biggest “passion” and “love” was for her family and friends! She touched all of us with her sweetness, her love, her hospitality! The best gift to mom was a warm hug and a kiss!
To Nicole, Denise and the staff at Riverside and to St. Croix Hospice, our family extends our hearts and our personal gratitude for the outstanding and compassionate care each of you gave our mom during her final journey here on earth. Truly you are “Angels” who comforted mom and us. Thank you!
A Celebration of Mary Jo’s Life, her Love and her Music will be held on Sunday, Oct 24th, 2021, at Cremation Society of Minnesota, 7110 France Ave. S, Edina, MN 55435. Visitation at 1:00 pm. Service at 2:00 pm. Reception with cake and refreshments to follow.