Mary Naasko, Who Worked as Nurse and Truck Driver, was Known for Cooking and Her Beer-Battered Fish

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Mary Margarette Naasko was born on Friday, December 7, 1945, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She attended Plymouth High School, graduating in 1963, and received her Practical Nursing Certificate in Ann Arbor in 1965.

She soon headed south, where she lived on Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys and in Plantation, FL, near Ft. Lauderdale. While there, she met and married her former husband, Dean Schladorn. Despite opting for warmer climes, she remained connected to family and friends in Michigan, and cared for both of her parents in their later years, hosting them in Florida during the winter months. In 2003, she moved to Cookeville, Tennessee, residing there until 2020, when she returned to Ann Arbor to be near her brother and sister-in-law, nieces and their families. She died peacefully at the age of 75 on Saturday, July 24, 2021.

Mary was known for her positivity, sisu and living life to the fullest. Her spirit of adventure led her to work in different careers that included nursing, fine art, and truck driving. She also loved travel, especially cruises and trips to visit with her beloved extended Finnish family at family reunions. Like her father, she was an expert angler. Mary was also an accomplished cook, winning awards for her recipes and serving as editor of her extended family’s cookbook.

Combining these two loves, one of her most famous recipes was her Beer Battered Fish: 1 ¼ c self-rising flour 1 T sugar 2 tsp dry mustard ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 egg 1 c beer (do not use light beer) 3 lbs fish, onions or shrimp Stir dry ingredients together, carefully combine beaten egg and beer. Slowly stir into dry mixture. Let stand about 1 hour before using. Dip fish into batter. Fry until golden brown.

Mary is survived by her brother Henry (Sandra) Naasko, her three nieces, seven grand-nieces and -nephews, her lifelong friends Susan Adermann, Sharon Keilisek, Truls Gjestland, and her former husband, Dean Schladorn. She is preceded in death by her parents, George and Sigrid Naasko; her brother, George Naasko, Jr.; and by her cherished feline companions, Rasputen (Raz), Ramses and Snickers. An outdoor, graveside service will be held at Lakeside Cemetery, Hancock, Michigan on Monday, August 9, 2021 at 11:00 A.M. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Mary’s memory to Tiny Lions Lounge & Adoption Center (734) 662-5585 https://bit.ly/3iPEQ6b

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