Monday, October 02, 2023

Mary Ella (Bennett) Dirks, 76

| July 21, 2022 1:00 AM

Our very beloved wife, mom and grandma Mary Ella (Bennett) Dirks was born Aug. 20, 1945, in Sandpoint, Idaho, to Aubrey and Elaine Bennett and was raised near Morton Slough.

In 1952, the family moved to Bonners Ferry. Growing up, she enjoyed horseback riding and waterskiing on Lake Pend Oreille. Mary graduated in 1963 from Bonners Ferry High School and, in 1964, went on to marry Tom Florea.

In 1975, Mary and Gaylord — her cherished husband of nearly 50 years — were married, bringing together five children into a warm and loving home: Russell (Tami), Jess (Tammy), Sue (Doug), Stevie and Mike (Brianne). In 1980, they moved to their beautiful property at Kent’s Gulch, where she remained until her passing on July 10, 2022. 

While caring for her family and many beloved pets, Mary worked for 33 years as a cook in the Boundary County School District, where she was known for her delicious treats like snickerdoodle cookies. Mary loved yard-saleing with her sister Audrey and was an avid Beanie Baby collector. She was also an impeccable seamstress, embroidering beautiful quilts for each one of her 16 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, whom she loved dearly. Mary also loved to spend time gardening, making jam, and motorhoming with Gaylord up the Yaak or on the Oregon Coast. 

Mary is preceded in death by her father, Aubrey; her mother, Elaine and her brother, Tom. She is survived by her husband, Gaylord Dirks; her sister, Audrey Schenck; and her children.

She will be deeply missed for her sweet demeanor, abundant kindness, unwavering work ethic and generosity of spirit. She was a friend to all and saw the good in everyone. Mary was irreplaceable, and the world will not be the same without her in it. To help ease the pain of losing her, she would want us all to remember one of her favorite sayings, “It’ll be just fine.” 

Services have been held.

The Bonners Ferry Funeral Home is caring for the family. Please leave a message or memory at

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