Mary Ann (Wichman) Williams
(May 7, 1933 – March 20, 2015)
Mary Ann (Wichman) Williams, 81, peacefully passed into eternity with God on March 20, 2015, with family by her side at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee, WI.
Mary was born May 7, 1933 to the late Harm and Ethe Marie (nee Tobias) Wichman on their farm in Basco, IL. She learned from her parents the importance of family unity and togetherness, values that she carried forward and shared with her own children.
She graduated from Carthage High School and moved to Muscatine, Iowa, where she worked as secretary to the superintendent of Lutheran Homes. Five years passed and she grew to desire a college degree, so she made the decision to move to Rock Island, Illinois, where she enrolled at Augustana College and earned a double major in Social Work and Christian Service. While at school, she was introduced by her college roommate to Robert Williams, who was attending Lutheran School of Theology at Augustana. After a courtship, the two entered holy matrimony on December 21, 1963, and began their faithful journey together to serve God. In addition to finding herself with a husband, Mary also took on the mothering role for Robert’s two teenage sons, Rob and Roger, from Robert’s deceased first wife, Mavis.
A new son, James, was soon on the way in 1964, and following Robert’s ordination in 1968, the family moved to Norway, Michigan to begin ministry at Bethany Lutheran Church. Two more children, Paul and Carol, filled out the family as they settled into their life in service to the Lord, which eventually extended to Christ and St. Paul Lutheran Churches in Lancaster and Burton, WI, respectively.
Mary was deeply devoted to faith and family, raising her children while also performing the many duties of a pastor’s wife, including prayer groups, Bible studies, Sunday School, choir, potlucks and providing spiritual comfort to homebound elderly and others. She was a humble and compassionate person who sought to find the positive potential in every person and to ensure dignified treatment of each of God’s children. She marveled in awe of God’s diverse and beautiful creation on her regular walks through town, along lakeshores or through Upper Michigan’s wooded walkways. Mary also joked that she loved “sale-ing,” reveling in her ability to find great deals during her weekly excursions to rummage sales.
Mary is survived by her children: Robert (Charlene) Williams in Norway, MI; Roger (Mary) Williams in Menominee, MI; James (Carlos) Williams in Chicago, IL; Paul Williams in Milwaukee, WI; and Carol (Chris) Omernik in Wauwatosa, WI; brother Fred Wichman in Warsaw, IL; sister Frances Clampitt in Quincy, IL; nine beloved grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years and her brothers, Alvin and John Wichman.
The family expresses deep gratitude to the staff of Saint John’s on the Lake for providing compassionate care to Mary and Robert over the past several years. Thanks to staff at Froedtert and Horizon Hospice for Mary’s peaceful transition during her final days. A Funeral Service will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., March 28, 2015, with visitation preceding at 10:00 a.m., at Saint John’s on the Lake (1840 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202). Immediately following the service, all are invited to enjoy fellowship with the family in the Saint John’s parlor. Burial will take place at Lakeside Cemetery in Wakefield, MI in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donate online in Mary’s memory to the Saint John’s on the Lake Foundation at http://bit.ly/18OUh8w. Suminski Funeral Home of Milwaukee is assisting the family. Expressions of sympathy may be offered at www.suminskifuneralhome.com.
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