Date of Birth
Date of Death
Marie E. Wiltse, age 78, of Maple Park, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by the love and prayers of her family in the early morning hours of Sunday, August 26, 2018.
Marie was born the youngest of seven, on July 26, 1940, in West Chicago, to proud parents, Henry L. and Mayme K. (White) Theis.
She grew up in West Chicago for a time but spent most of her growing up years in Batavia where she attended a one room school house.
Marie was never comfortable with the level of her education, despite the fact that many of her generation only went to school to the eighth grade before returning to the farm and supporting their family. This may have instilled in her the kind of legendary work ethic that followed her every day of her life, and that was evident in everything she did. Losing her father at the age of seven also defined the paths that Marie would later take.
Marie was no stranger to work and her resume began with the babysitting of a number of nieces and nephews, including local families. At the same time, she helped her mother with the vegetable garden which fueled their farm stand. The farm stand grew roots of its own and continues to this day, bigger, better but still staffed by dedicated family members who are proud to continue the tradition that started so long ago.
Marie met the man she would marry on one of her many trips with friends to the Blue Moon. In retrospect, Jerome “Red” Wiltse never had a chance. He may have lost his heart, but he gained Marieâ€™s hand in marriage on June 3, 1961. They began their new life together on Harter Road for a short time until 1965 when they moved to the present family farm on Rt. 38 near County Line Rd. Together with Jeromeâ€™s cousin, John Hickey, they farmed the family lands around Maple Park.
Marie had a deep and abiding faith with a heart for charity. She always gave to those in need and was an active and faithful member of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. There, she served on the Cenacle Guild and could always be found in the thick of the annual fall festival.
Marie grew up outside in the sunshine and under the bright blue sky. She rode “the ponies”, which were really full grown horses, to competitions where she rode western style. Her first best friend Peg (nee Malone) Hannon was the only one she ever needed for the rest of her life. They grew up together playing in the fields of what is now Fermilab in Batavia. In later years, she passed on her hard won knowledge to her children and showed them through her actions what is was to be a hard worker. The vegetable garden grew in size and as her kids did the same, sheâ€™d take them to local markets. When Red died in 1986, Marie assumed his position in the partnership with John Hickey. This meant that she had to take on his duties, overseeing the livestock and farming side of the family business. Many people thought, and several actually said, that Marie wouldnâ€™t be able to do it. How wrong they were. Marieâ€™s steely determination answered any questions as to her abilities. She held steady and calmly helmed all areas of the farm in defiance of any doubt and continue to raise her children to boot! Marie had an independent soul and was fiercely dedicated to her children. She was a “saver” at heart and an expert in the kitchen, where she not only canned and cooked, but butchered her own chickens. Every holiday the table was laden with the bounty of her hard work, overflowing with great food and greater memories. No matter where Marie went, she had a fixed destination in mind, but often didnâ€™t always know â€˜exactly” how to get there, much to her childrenâ€™s chagrin. Many times it was the “scenic” or “round about” way that was taken, often making circles until she found her way. Later in life she traveled with her siblings to Mexico, took various cruises and trips to Las Vegas. When she wasnâ€™t fitfully playing the one arm bandits in Vegas, Marie could be found on “the boat” in Aurora. Marie worked up until her very last years. Every day was filled with tasks to be done, but a “hat” she wore often was one of educator. She was diligent in teaching her grandchildren to help run the farm stand, make change and how to deal with every kind of customer. Marie also helped her daughter Kate when she started her own greenhouse business. Itâ€™s impossible to take a step without seeing the path that Marie laid out for future generations. The paths of faith, love, charity and hard work won her many lasting friendships across the countryside and through the years. She will be sorely missed and never forgotten.
Marie is survived by five children: Deb (George) Bullard, Mary Wiltse-Simpson, Patty (Jeff) Marco, Kate (Troy) Mish, and Joe (Amie) Wiltse: Fifteen grandchildren: Jordan, Taylor and Connor Bullard, Bryan, Kati, Gayle, Natalie, Kavan, Seamus and Colleen Simpson, Nick and Jackie Marco, Adam and Nick Mish and Elizabeth Wiltse with another on the way; one sister, Shirley Snyder; one brother Henry (Joan) Theis; a sister-in-law, Joanne (George) McNeal; many nieces, nephews and a countryside of friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband Jerome Wiltse; her parents Henry and Mayme Theis; four siblings: Jim Theis, Bill Theis, Betty (Elmer) Wesemann and Ray (Anita) Theis and one brother-in-law, Mort Snyder.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. at the St. Mary of the Assumption Parish Hall in Maple Park on Thursday, August 30, 2018. There also will be visitation from 10-10:45 a.m. followed by a mass to celebrate her faith at 11 a.m., also at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church on Friday, August 31, 2018. Interment will follow at St. Maryâ€˜s Cemetery, Maple Park, IL.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Marieâ€™s name. Checks may be made to the “Marie Wiltse Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address, the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com.
There also will be visitation from 10-10:45 a.m. followed by a mass to celebrate her faith at 11 a.m., also at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church on Friday, August 31, 2018.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. at the St. Mary of the Assumption Parish Hall in Maple Park on Thursday, August 30, 2018.
Interment will follow at St. Maryâ€˜s Cemetery, Maple Park, IL.