Lynne Marko’s family, girls rule! One of two daughters of Mary and Allen Dillon, Lynne and her husband, Andy, have two daughters, Peggy and Pam – and Peggy and her husband, Paul Grosso, have two daughters, Millie and Sylvia. And, they all share a love of family and the joy of motherhood.
The story begins with Mary Allen and the way she raised her two daughters. “She was a great mom,” Lynne remembers of her mother who passed away in 1993. Mary was born in a German settlement in Russia. During World War I, her father did not want to fight for the Russian Czar, so the family migrated to the United States when Mary was seven years old. “They ended up in Washington State,” Lynne reminisces. “But my grandfather heard the auto industry was hiring in Michigan, so they came here.” So, Lynne and her sister, Diane, grew up in Flint.
Now a Fenton Township resident, Lynne says her mother was very kind and always helping others, a trait that Lynne passed on to her own daughters. “My mother led by example,” she says. Etiquette and manners were very important to her mother, as well. “I’ve always been very strict about grammar, too; my girls would call me the Grammar Nazi,” Lynne says, laughing.
Mary was also known for her cooking, and there isn’t a holiday dinner that doesn’t include Grandma’s coleslaw. “All of us know how to make it,” Lynne reports. Mary also passed down her love of reading and playing Scrabble, pastimes the whole family continues to enjoy.
When Lynne was ten years old, her parents purchased a cottage in East Tawas where they would spend their summers. Lynne and Diane have kept the cottage in the family and they all spend time there together. Diane has two daughters and a son. All of the girls in the family get together at the cottage for “girls only” weekends. “We call ourselves Dilly’s Dolls, Lynne says with a smile. (“Dilly” was their father’s nickname).
For the most part, Lynne was a stay-at-home mom. Peggy is a busy working mother, teaching full-time at Clarkston High School and online classes at Baker College. She is also busy raising Millie and Sylvia. “My mom was always there for all of our activities and she helped us with our homework,” Peggy remembers. “She never missed a sporting or dance event. She sewed my prom dresses and made Halloween costumes for Pam and me.”
Lynne also taught her daughters many life lessons – honesty, integrity, being respectful and the most important – love of family. “My favorite part of growing up was having a huge, extended family,” says Peggy. She now finds herself passing things on to her daughters that she enjoyed while growing up. “Pam and I always played softball and now, my girls play.”
Peggy appreciates her upbringing. “As a working mother, I can appreciate my mom staying home when Pam and I were growing up,” she shares. “I teach 150 kids a day and come home to two kids. My mom has been a lifeline as a grandma! She has helped watch Millie and Sylvia and we rely on both of my parents.” What Peggy enjoys most is her closeness with Lynne. “Mom and I have a good, close friendship. Family is the biggest thing to me.”
And now, Peggy is passing on what she has learned from Lynne to her own girls. When asked what her mother has taught her, Millie says: “She taught me you should clean up after yourself and be kind to others.” Her favorite thing about her mom? “I would say, everything!” she smiles.
Sylvia says her mother taught her to jump rope and hula hoop. “Mom can do a hand-stand,” she adds. What do the girls like best about their Grandma? “She cuddles me and she makes me laugh. I love her,” says Millie, with a big smile. “Me, too!” Sylvia adds.
(L-r) Lynne Marko, Peggy Grosso, Millie Grosso (8) & Sylvia Grosso (6)
Photos by Eric Dutro & provided by Lynne Marko