Mary Lillian Kirkland, 76, a beloved mother, devoted caregiver, and a shining beacon of love and kindness, passed away on May 14, 2023. Born September 9, 1946, she was the daughter of the late Henry Lamm and Lillian Gill Lewis, and was also preceded in death by her sisters, Josephine Lamm, Betty Siegle; brothers, James and Charlie Lamm; and best friend, Faye Dolan.
Mary was a stay-at-home mother who embraced her role with unwavering dedication, extending her nurturing care to not only her own children but also to countless others whom she treated as her own.
Mary's home was always a safe haven, where laughter echoed, and love filled every corner. As a stay-at-home mother, she dedicated herself to creating an environment that nurtured and supported her children. Mary's patience and guidance were unwavering, as she fostered an atmosphere of growth, understanding, and unconditional love.
In addition to raising her own children, Mary opened her heart and her home to numerous other children over the years, acting as a cherished mother figure to many. Through her passion for babysitting, Mary touched the lives of countless young souls, providing them with a safe and loving environment where they could thrive. To these children, she was not just a caregiver; she was a confidante, mentor, and guardian angel.
Furthermore, Mary shined in her role as a grandmother, spreading her love and wisdom to her grandchildren with unparalleled warmth and affection. Being a grandmother was a role she cherished deeply. She created prized memories with her grandchildren that will forever be etched in their hearts. She took great delight in watching them grow, offering guidance, and instilling in them the same values of kindness, generosity, and love that defined her own life.
Mary Lillian Kirkland also found great joy and fulfillment in her career as a baker at Hilda's Bakery in Petersburg. Her love for baking was evident in every loaf of bread, pastry, and cake that emerged from her skilled hands.
She is survived by her three children, Tammy Kolanko and husband, Chris, James "Bubba" Shawen, Ronald "Brad" Kirkland; seven grandchildren, Jason Kolanko and wife, Heather, Melissa Jenkins, Lew Harris and husband, Jonathan Davis, Tiffiney Brown and fiancé, Joe Banks, Cody Kirkland and wife, Casey, Tonya Stark and husband, Conor, Courtney Sanchez and husband, Robert; 14 great-grandchildren, Jacoby, Braydon, Genevieve, Cameron, Sean, Grayson, Peyton, Kallie, Brooks, Bayla, Blake, Chyles, Elizabeth, Joseph; sisters, Muriel Winters, Peggy Avery; brother, Gerald Lamm; numerous nieces, nephews, her "adopted" children and other extended family members.
The family would like to extend a very special thank you to Mary’s cherished niece, Betty Rae, who spent a lot of time with Mary and cared for her in her time of need.
A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 19, 2023 in the Colonial Heights Chapel of E. Alvin Small Funeral Homes and Crematory, 2033 Boulevard. Interment will follow in Blandford Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Thursday night, May 18, 2023 at the funeral home. Condolences may be registered at www.ealvinsmall.com.