Mary Lou Bleakley

Sep 02, 1930 - Jul 17, 2023

Mary Lou Bleakley

September 02, 1930 - July 17, 2023


Mary Lou passed away peacefully on July 17, 2023, at the age of 92 at Clearwater at North Tustin in Santa Ana, California. Mary Lou was born on September 2, 1930, to Herman and Helen Stansell in Cape May, a small beach resort at the southern tip of New Jersey.

Mary Lou graduated from Cape May High School in 1948 and then attended Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School in New York City. In 1951 she married USCG Ensign Wilfred R Bleakley Jr in a military wedding at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Cape May, New Jersey. Together, they raised 6 children in the many places the Coast Guard stationed them, ultimately retiring in Arnold, Maryland. In 2022 they moved to assisted living in California, close to their nurse daughter.

Mary Lou was an artistic and creative woman, most renowned for her skill in traditional rug hooking. She is credited with starting one of the first rug hooking camps, Cape May Rugs By the Sea.

Mary Lou is survived by her husband of 72 years, Wilfred Robert Bleakley, Jr and their children, Elise Roberts (Pete), Bill Bleakley (Janet), Helen Katz (Gene), Patricia Field (Gil), Mary Ellen Umerley (Jim) and Katherine DiRienzo (Vic), her two brothers Karl Stansell (Doris) and Donald Stansell (Maureen) as well as 16 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice or Providence Hospice and Home Health

Funeral Mass at Clearwater at North Tustin
Friday, July 28, 2023, 11:00 am
11901 Newport Ave.
Santa Ana, 92705


There are no events scheduled.

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