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At Newsline 9 we're always on the lookout for the next news story. Our sources are wide and varied. A recent obituary posted on social media caught our eye and we knew we had to share her story with you. It's of a remarkable Milwaukee woman who is being remembered for her life devoted to others.
Mary Agnes Mullaney, better known as "Pink" was born in Milwaukee in 1927. She passed away earlier this week.
"She was an amazing woman. A very gentle, kind person," said longtime friend Ann Kenwood.
Survived by her six children and 17 grandchildren, her family knew a normal obituary just wouldn't work for an extraordinary woman.
"We wanted something that showed who she was," explained daughter Maryanne "We said, how can we be like her and carry her pinkness across."
The following are excerpts from the colorful death announcement.
"Go to church with a chicken sandwich in your purse. Give the chicken sandwich to your homeless friend after mass." "Go to a nursing home. Kiss everyone."
"Invite new friends to thanksgiving dinner. Bonus points if they're from another country," read Maryanne from the obituary. "Never say mean things about anybody; they're poor souls to pray for."
Days after Pink's death, in a small room tucked away from hundreds of visitors at Feerick Funeral Home, her family reflects.
"We'd go to the grocery store with her and before she'd get out of the car we'd say, promise you won't stop and talk to everybody and kiss every baby. I can't make that promise she would say," explained her daughter Meg.
It's because Pink's life was devoted to others.
"From the Northshore doctor to the homeless person they were all equal in my mother's eyes," said Maryanne.
The obituary explains it best, "allow the homeless to keep warm in your car while you are mass," it reads. "Take magazines you've already read to your doctors office for others to enjoy. But do not tear off the mailing label." "Because if someone wants to contact me that be nice."
"She really reached out to people and they reached back," said Meg.
If Pink didn't see you on the street, or meet you in the grocery line, chances are she wrote to you.
"She would see a dress with a person's name on it, or a flier and she'd write to them," said longtime friend Stan Kenwood.
In fact, there were thousands of letters. Some of them were for fun, others serious. One of those letters Kenwood says he'll never let go of.
"We need a lot more people like her," he said.
That was the essence of "Pink".
"The life that she lived should be an example to others," said Maryanne.
So now family, friends, even total strangers gather to remember. Because in the words of the obituary, "those who have taken her lessons to heart will continue to ensure that a cold drink will be left out for the overheated garbage collector and mail carrier."
People will choose to believe the best about people, no matter what.
We are sorry we didn't have the chance to introduce you to Pink while she was with us. We want to make sure that doesn't happen again. We've been inspired by her story to return a special Newsline 9 series, "Someone You Should Know."
This is where you come in. Is your neighbor, friend, or family member doing something the community should know about? Let us know so we can spread the word. If you know someone we should all know, send us an email to email@example.com.
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