Services will be streamed and can be accessed the day of the service at 10:50 a.m. by clicking on the following link https://www.facebook.com/CannonMortuary
Our mother always told us, that she was the luckiest girl in the world! “How many women, have had two men, who absolutely loved and adored them?” Her favorite thing was to watch old black and white romance movies. I think the best one, however, was her own, because she got to live it!
Mary Irene Buklin Gerzeli Kecxon, was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, on May 26, 1932, to immigrant, Hungarian parents, Gabor and Bernice Buklin. When she was 2, they took a bus to Toronto, joining some of their Hungarian friends. A handful of them formed the Hungarian Catholic Church, where, she learned to speak fluently, enjoyed weekly dance socials and where she met Ted, 9 years her senior. He was smitten, but she felt he was too old. She always told us how hard it must have been, for her parents to raise her older brother, Gabriel, born in Yugoslavia and younger brother, Christopher, born in Saskatchewan, during the depression. Her father owned a professional home painting business and her mother supplemented their meager income, with her Hungarian restaurant, the Csarda, fulfilling her love of cooking.
Mom and her brothers learned the value of hard work, at a very young age, when their parents would send them off, every summer, to work in the tobacco fields of her maternal, Aunt Julie and Uncle Carl. She often said, she loved to work and always felt rich, if she had enough money to pay her bills and even if you were poor, you could always be clean. Not only did her father paint homes, but he was an accomplished artist and she surprised us in her later years, with her beautiful, watercolor paintings.
Mary had a beautiful, clear, soprano voice and enjoyed singing in a women’s quartet. Mom loved to sew and Sue and Pam felt like princesses, when she’d sew them all matching dresses and was an avid knitter, making over 1000 hats for cancer patients. We were the envy of our friends, when we’d show up at school, wearing her knitted creations and home-made Halloween costumes.
Mom’s first love story began in the Csarda. Unbeknownst to her, her prince would be a young, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Italian, professional soccer player, Bruno Gerzeli. Dad was playing soccer in Columbia, where he had a recurring dream, of a slim brunette and a voice telling him to go to Canada. In April, 1954, an Hungarian soccer teammate, invited him to join him to play soccer in Toronto. The night they arrived, they were invited to a welcome-party in her mother’s Hungarian restaurant, where she was a waitress. After her shift, she headed upstairs to join the music. Immediately, dad recognized her as the slim brunette and they danced the night away, conversing in his WWII German and her high school German. The next day he asked her to marry him. Several proposals later, she realized he was serious and said, yes! They married August 25, 1954 and took a boat to Italy. She taught herself Italian, while living there for seven months. When she found out she was having twins, Susan and Stephen, dad suggested she return to Canada. She ended up with a layover in London, England, went into labor and they were born. After four weeks, they returned to Toronto, with her mother’s help, while dad stayed back in Italy, due to visa issues. He joined them nine months later. Four and a half years later, her younger daughter, Pamela was born.
In 1966, they were introduced to the LDS church, through a friend and in July 1967, joined, serving in many capacities, giving their all to missionary work. Being an athlete, dad and business partners, Delmont and Karol Truman, created the Sundancer, a small minitrampoline and travelled the nation, attending Health Fairs. In 1982, Bruno became ill and sadly died November 8th, leaving our mother a widow at 50. Two years later, the 9-year older, Ted, reappeared, with a visit, to ask her to marry him. He wasn’t going to lose that chance again. He never stopped loving her and told her several times daily, how much he loved her! He joined the LDS Church and they were soo happy to share the Gospel with their fellow Hungarians.
Mom and Ted had a great life together, visiting Hungary every year and going back and forth between California and Utah. They finally returned to Utah, full-time. They spent many nights playing Rummikub, talking, reminiscing, dancing and loved to bowl, clear into Ted’s 90’s and mom’s 80’s. Every Christmas Eve-Day, our entire family would celebrate at the bowling alley, with Mary still bowling a 218, something she was very proud of!
She was the best cook and showed her love through her delicious food, egg salad, minestrone soup, her poppyseed cake, lemon meringue and chocolate pie, chocolate cherry cake and chocolate chip cookies! She sure loved chocolate! Her favorite kitchen was her own, turning anything into the most delicious meal! We knew when she’d call and say, “I have some fresh tunafish!," what she really was saying, was, “I love you, I miss you, please come visit!” She was the best mom and the best listener. Her greatest motherly advise, "Always talk to your children, no matter the time, because that’s when they want to talk.”
When Ted passed away this June, at 99, her heart was broken a 2nd time and the love of 38 years, wasn’t enough to keep her lonely heart going! On Friday, October 21st, she danced her way into heaven and into the arms of her two-true loves! Yes, mom, you WERE the luckiest girl! May you feel our love for you, through the clouds of heaven and may we feel your motherly, heavenly love, always! Bye, beautiful Mom! Ciao, bella madre! Viszlat, edes anyukam!
Mary was so proud of her family. Her son, Stephen, daughter Sue and husband Don, daughter Pam and husband, Scott, her 10 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren. At her request, please wear your favorite, casual, comfortable outfit, (with a hint of green, her favorite color) and join us for her “Celebration of Life,” Saturday, November 5, 11:00 A.M. at the Cannon Mortuary, 2460 Bengal Boulevard (7600 South) Salt Lake City, Utah. 84121.
In lieu of flowers, take your family bowling.