Marie Bridgens Maslanka, 97, died on April 1, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona, having resided in both Arizona and Florida since 1965.
Born March 1, 1924 in Baltimore, Maryland, she grew up in Niles, Ohio. Marie's family moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she met her future husband, Ed Maslanka. They married November 15, 1946 and resided in Michigan until 1960 when they moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The Maslankas founded De Soto Gas & Oil, an energy business based in Pensacola, Florida. Marie remained active in the family business until her death and was known for her knowledge of gas and oil development in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
Ed and Marie had two children, Edward, Jr. and Donna, who were raised in Michigan, Arizona and Florida.
Everyone was welcome in her home and there was always room for unexpected guests at the nightly dinner table. She also hosted many memorable parties with a variety of themes but was especially known for her Mardi Gras events.
In addition to her business activities and family responsibilities, Marie was active in the Catholic Church and was a member of many social and civic organizations in Arizona and Florida.
She was an open and friendly person who loved to talk and had a genuine interest in other people. She lived a long and complete life and was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, mother-in-law, grandmother and friend. She will be greatly missed.
Marie was preceded in death by her husband, Edward and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Bridgens. She is survived by her son Ed Maslanka of Fort-Lauderdale-by-the-Sea; daughter Donna Hendrickson of Phoenix, Arizona; granddaughter, Laura Hendrickson-Rabin (Sam) of Garmisch, Germany; devoted nephew Donald Gavel (Judy); dear family friend, Dave Marshall of Phoenix, Arizona; and her dog, Mollie.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Phoenix at a later date.
"Donna, I am so sorry for your loss. Your Mom was a member of our Bible study group in Pensacola for several years. We always missed her presence when she moved. Her inspiring words of wisdom always added to our discussions. Her hospitality in hosting our group was overwhelming. May she rest in peace. Mary Lou Kintz"
"I am grieving the passing of this wonderful lady. She had a profound influence on my life in so many ways. Marie and I worked together in the oil and gas industry for decades and she was the best partner imaginable. Her intuition and wisdom were amazing. Over the years we developed tremendous respect for each other and she became like a mother to me. I am blessed to have had Marie in my life for so many years. I love her and that love will continue."