Mary Kinkade

Mary Alice Kinkade, 94, passed away on Aug. 8, 2018 at the home of her daughter in Fort Collins, Colo.

Mary was born in Illinois on Nov. 5, 1923 to Curtis and Mima Burgess. She grew up in rural Michigan with her brothers Everett and John and her sister Ruth. Her brother John, who was her dearest friend, died at the age of 15 from tuberculosis. He remained a part of her life as she frequently told stories about him until she could no longer tell stories. 

Mary married John Martin Kinkade II in Riverside, Calif. after John had a piece of her famous chocolate cake. This was a very important cake, as she continued to make it for every birthday and anniversary celebration throughout her long life. The story of “the cake” was told at each family gathering.  After John returned home from WWII, they settled at his family farm in Sac County, near Newell. There they had four children: John Martin Kinkade III, Nancy (Aspelund), Marilyn Kinkade and Dorothy (Archer). Mary worked at Loring Hospital in Sac City as a nurse’s aid for many years. She made many lifelong friendships that were very important to her. 

John and Mary lived on the farm until John retired in 1983 and they moved to their house in Sac City. They lived there happily until John passed away in 2012. Sac City and it’s many friends and neighbors were very special to both John and Mary. Until the last week of her life, the arrival of a new “Sac Sun” remained a highlight in her life. 

Mary is survived by all four of her children: John (Nancy) Kinkade, Nancy (Tom) Aspelund, Marilyn and Dorothy (Jeff) Archer. She is also survived by her eight grandchildren: Amy (Diego) Melchert, Melissa (Kyle) Lambrecht, Katie (Mike) Harper, Matt (Sender) Aspelund, Sharon (Sundei) Patagoc, Austin (Meg) Archer, John (Tara) Kinkade and Alex (Olivia) Archer as well as by 19 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and loving neighbors and friends. We were all so lucky to have the privilege to have her a part of our lives for so long.  Her immense strength, grace and dignity will always be a source of inspiration to our family and those that knew her. She remained strong and kind to the end. 

Mary will be buried next to her beloved husband in the Sac City Cemetery at a later date.

In an effort to share the love our family felt for so many years, it only seems fitting to share her recipe for “the cake.” The cake that started and sustained our big, crazy, beautiful family for many, many years. We all hope that you will find the love in it as well.

Grandma’s Chocolate Cake:


1/2 cup butter

1¼ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in 1/2 cup warm water

1¾ cup flour

1 cup milk

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla


Cream butter and sugar and add eggs and mix until fluffy.

Mix: Milk, vanilla and soda.

Add milk mixture and flour alternately to the butter mixture.

Add chocolate and water mixture.

Pour into two 8 inch greased and floured cake round tins.

Bake 30-40 minutes at 325F.


1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup butter

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Cook over low-medium heat until it comes to a boil. 

Whisk in 1-2 cups of powdered sugar and ice the cake.