Mary Powers Laskowski was born in November 1923 in Canada and was primarily raised in Miami, Florida, where her family tended a citrus farm. Laskowski graduated from Miami Edison Senior High School in 1941. She worked in filing for American Title Insurance Company until she joined the Marines.
Laskowski enlisted in the Women Marines in summer 1952, and completed basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina. She was then assigned to the women’s clothing office at the base, where she fitted incoming Women Marines for uniforms. In 1954, she was discharged from the Marines following her marriage to fellow Marine Herbert Laskowski.
After leaving the Women Marines, Laskowski followed her husband’s assignments with the Marines. The couple lived at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Seaford, Virginia; and Jacksonville, Florida. They returned to Camp Lejeune in 1974, where Laskowski ran a book exchange out of her home.