Mary E. Child

November 25, 1947 ~ February 1, 2021 (age 73)


Mary Elizabeth “Libby” Child of Grand Rapids, MI passed away at the age of 73 on February 1, 2021 at the Village of Heather Hills after a brief illness.

Libby was born on November 25, 1947 in Harrisburg, PA and moved to Michigan as a child, graduating from East Grand Rapids High School and earning a teaching degree from Alma College. 

Libby met Bob Laskowski at AA and was married to him for 39 years.  AA played an important role in their lives and brought them many supportive friends.  Libby and Bob were known as avid “cruisers”, traveling the world on Royal Caribbean, and developing a wonderful network of friends from around the US and beyond.  Early in their marriage, they developed a love of dachshunds and took great joy in surrounding themselves with many over the years.  Libby’s faithful companion “Smooch” provided comfort to her throughout her illness. 

During her professional life, Libby became an influential member of the workers compensation community, leading integrated disability management services for Steelcase, Inc. for 25 years and serving as an advisory council member of Michigan State University’s Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling program.  In 1999, Libby was the first female non-attorney elected to the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Hall of Fame.  She also served on the board for the Michigan Self –Insurers’ Association and was appointed to trustee and chairperson roles by both Governors Engler and Granholm.  In 2002, Libby was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel within the Social Security Administration.  A passionate, life-long member of the Republican party, Libby served as Chairwoman of the Kent County Republican Party from 2005-2006.

In her later years, Libby was able to bring together her passions for disability advocacy and dogs by serving on the board of directors of Paws With A Cause, first as treasurer and later as Chairperson of the Board. 

Libby was predeceased by her parents, Ellen and Hal Child, and her husband Bob Laskowski.  She is survived by her sisters Peggy Child Smith (David), Ginger Child Minoletti (Paul), son, Lt. Colonel James Reeman, stepdaughter, Robin Knutson, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.  The family wants to thank the staff of the Village of Heather Hills and Kindred Hospice for their loving care.

In keeping with her wishes, cremation has taken place and her ashes will be interred in the Bay View Memorial Gardens in Bay View this summer at a family memorial service.  For those who wish, memorials to the Bay View Association of the United Methodist Church, or Paws With A Cause, would be appreciated.

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Paws with a Cause
4646 S. Division Ave., Wayland MI 49348
Tel: 1-800-253-7297

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