. . . remembering that every time my family visited, Aunt Mary made sure we were well taken care of! From the old family player piano pumping out the song ‘Redwing’ over and over, to spoiling us with treats and ginger ale from the cute old refrigerator named Leonard, I always felt special when we went to see Aunt Mary and cousin Eva!!
I will never forget the rendezvous I had with Aunt Mary (along with my mother–Mary’s sister Florence–and my dad) while on vacation at the Pera Palace Hotel (of Orient Express fame) in Istanbul. My aunt’s story of her eschewing the region’s usual tourist traps and instead choosing to pick potatoes in a field with local people made a lasting impression on me. Years later, when some of my colleagues from my overseas hospital assignment were visiting the U.S. midwest, they hand-delivered for me a gift I got for her, and total strangers though they may have been, she responded by inviting them into her home and treating them with the utmost in generosity and hospitality. What an amazing lady, truly committed to Jesus’ principles of tolerance, respect for diversity, and social justice.
Rest in peace, my dear Aunt! You inspired me to travel to the four corners of the earth, all the while instilling life’s most important lesson, being proud to be MY TRUE SELF.
Love and fond memories always,
I remember her really authentic and warm smile. On our last visit (about a week before she died) as I was saying goodbye Mary held my hand tightly and said emphatically “Keep making art”.
Eva M. Olson
Not enough space for all the memories and gifts that came with your 91 years… Playing Scrabble together. Traveling to tropical islands to escape cold Milwaukee winters. All of the cultural treasures – books, theatre, symphony, movies – we enjoyed. You lived life on your own terms. And I was lucky enough to share it.
When I met Pete’s Aunt Mary, I was struck by her beauty. It was like life’s wear and tear had only accentuated her classic looks…like a cameo against her sheets, she shined. But what touched me most were the kind words she had for Pete. She gave him the most precious gift, love, and for that she will be always remembered in my heart.
She inspired me to read, read, read. Because of that I write, write, write. I love that I could live in her moment after the fact because she was still living the moment all the time. I will miss our talks. R.I.P My Dear Aunt Mary
Mary’s friendship with my dad, Ed Whitney, enriched our whole family. Early in their relationship, back in the ’70s, Dad mentioned that he was thinking of giving her a Bob Dylan album as a gift. I think I looked at him in amazement and said, “Are you sure?” I couldn’t imagine a woman in her — what, mid ’40s?– being interested in Bob Dylan! In retrospect I see that I underestimated both her and Bob Dylan! She was always learning and exploring and enjoying life. I’m happy that she’s been released from her physical body so she can explore so many new vistas in her life ahead.
Mary reintroduced me to the game of Scrabble. It was fun making weekly trips to St. John’s on the Lake to play the game with some folks there.
Not warm enough to get to the mass today, but no sub-zero temperature can cool the warm memories of Mary and all of the family events we had with my dad, EW. Mary enriched our lives. My husband and I enjoyed theater, music and baseball along with her. We enjoyed her accounts of her backyard, animal life. Our sons thought of her as their grandmother. They send their condolences as well.
I enjoyed recent visits with Mary at the Catholic Home. When I saw her three weeks ago, she told me she was ready to see Jesus. I have a devotional filled with scripture and readings about the wonderful eternal life believers will have. She encouraged me to share more and more of them. We talked of Heaven, laughed and hugged. She was joyful and happy. We said our good-byes. Now she is in her heavenly home, one that no one can take her out of nor sell for her. Happy and at peace.
Christie Olis (Paddock)
Mary work with my mother at GE for 35 years! Mary was much loved by our family. She was very fond of my brothers Mark and Mitchell! We had Christmas’s together and would go out to eat. Mary was there for me when I lost my mother in 2003! She will be missed!
Mary was an active member of the GE Quarter Century Club for years. She frequently presented and discussed a interesting topic at our bi-annual meetings. The old records showed she was employed by GE on April 23, 1957 and celebrated 25 years anniversary in 1982. Don’t know when she retired.
George Lavoie ( President of a dwindling GE Quarter Century Club)