Mary Audrey Iwanski, 66, of Alpena was called to heaven Monday, May 12, 2014, surrounded by her loving husband and family at Alpena Regional Medical Center’s Hospice Suite after a strong, courageous battle with lung cancer for more than a year.

Mary Audrey Sweeney was born in Chicago, Ill., to the late John and Audrey (Phillips) Sweeney on Feb. 6, 1948. She married William “Ski” Iwanski on Oct. 7, 1967.

Mary was passionate about her family and Catholic faith. She was a devoted wife, amazing mother, precious grandmother and outstanding woman and friend to many. She and Bill raised their family in Troy and retired to Northeast Michigan 15 years ago. She retired as a Human Resources Director in the automotive industry at age 50 and began her second career as an artist. She was involved with many different organizations, most recently the Thunder Bay Arts Council.

Surviving are her husband of 46 years, Bill; three children, Casey Lechel of Alpena, William Iwanski of San Diego, Timothy (Amy) Iwanski of Pinconning; five grandchildren, Timothy and Tiffani Iwanski, Harper and Samuel Lechel, Joshua Iwanski. Mary was the third born child of six siblings which include three brothers, Robert (Mary Jane) Weinberger of Roseville, Mich., William Weinberger (Johnstown, Ohio) , John (Cris) Sweeney of Holland, Mich.; two sisters, Patricia (William) LaChance of Hollywood, Fla., Shelia (Glen) Ferrell of Lutz, Fla.

The family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of love, prayers, and support in many heart-felt forms from too many people to name individually, but including: Hospice of Michigan (Mary Jo and Cindy), family and friends – either through prayer and/or visits, neighbors, and even random acts of kindness through total “strangers.”

Mrs. Iwanski is at the Bannan Funeral where visitation and celebration and reflection of her spirit will take place on Thursday from 4-7 with a parish prayer service at 6 p.m. Visitation will continue on Friday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church from 10 a.m. until time of Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. with Rev. Richard C. Schaeffer officiating.

Interment: Holy Cross Cemetery

Memorials: Hospice of Michigan