School 31

Mary Jane Rudnicki

June 17, 1948 ~ January 9, 2022 (age 73)

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Mary Jane Rudnicki passed away on Sunday, January 9th, 2022 at the age of 73 after a battle with dementia.

Mary Jane was born in West Philadelphia, the oldest of four sisters and surrounded by a close-knit group of cousins that remain close to this day. After high school she earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Early Childhood Education from Penn State University. She married her husband, Joseph, in 1976 and they spent the next 45 years in Howard County, Maryland. A lifelong preschool teacher, a career that became her life's purpose, she educated hundreds of children, typically their first teacher, making each feel comfortable in a school setting and creating a foundation for their educational journey. She retired from teaching in the early 2010s after a 20+ year tenure at St. John’s Parish Day School in Ellicott City.
Mary Jane was a fixture in Howard County charities and organizations making significant impact on the community through volunteering and fundraising. Her many notable contributions include service to the Howard County American Red Cross, Domestic Violence Center of Howard County, the Columbia Volleyball Club, the Claudia Mayer Image Resource Center, the Cystic Fibrosis Association, ARC, and St. John’s Parish Day School. Despite never playing a sport, she was inducted into the Howard County Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 having served as the first ever female Howard County Youth Sports Program commissioner and for her contributions to the launch of the county's volleyball program - a program she had particular passion for given the absence of low-cost accessible programs in the area.
Friends and family will remember Mary Jane not only for her teaching and charity work but as the “Social Queen of HoCo” and “the Social Connector”. She had a special gift for bringing people of different circles together. Her best friends would become each other's best friends. It brought her great joy creating enduring friendships.

Above all, Mary Jane loved her family and beamed with joy when talking about them. She is survived by two sisters, Regina and Roseanne, her husband. Joseph, their two children, Jeff (wife Emily) and Jill, and Jeff and Emily’s three children, Mary Jane's grandchildren.  Mary Jane’s legacy will live on through the bonds she created, animated stories she told, and her unforgettable enjoyment of life. 

In lieu of flowers, the Rudnicki family would be extreme grateful if donations were made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Due to the current status of the pandemic and for public safety concerns, the in-person funeral will be a private family only event. However, friends are invited to join the service virtually on Zoom for the service on January 14, 2022 at 11am.

Please click HERE to view recorded Zoom service.

To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Mary Jane Rudnicki, please visit our Tree Store.


Funeral Service
January 14, 2022

11:00 AM
A private family service is planned
-, MD -


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