Date of Birth
Date of Death
NAME MARY AHRENS THOMAS, age 91, of rural Burlington, passed away, Saturday, June 11, surrounded by the prayers of her family at Rosewood Care Center in Elgin. BORN: She was born August 31, 1919, in Elgin, the daughter of Thurbern and Mary (Shine) Ahrens. EARLY YEARS :Mary grew up in several area homes her father built in Elgin, IL, but moved to Udina, IL when she was 16 years old.EDUCATION: She attended Plato Center High School and graduated with the class of 1937. There she met her high school sweetheart, Howard B. Thomas. She continued her education at Ellis Business College and worked as a secretary to the President of the Elgin Case Factory, then a part of the Elgin Watch Company. MARRIAGE Howard not only won her heart in high school, but also her hand in marriage as they were wed in Clinton, IA on October 19, 1938.RESIDENTIAL HISTORYThey made their home on the family farm south of Burlington, where she continued to make her home until July 2006 when declining health brought her into the care of a nursing facility. OCCUPATION / WORK HISTORY Mary’s heart beat for her husband and children, and it was their care that she specialized in while making their house a home, filling it love, memories, and the sweet smells that came from her baking. MEMBERSHIPS Mary was a faithful member of the Congregation Church of Lily Lake and the Ladies Aid. She also volunteered for many years as a member of the St. Joe’s Auxiliary at what is now Provena St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin, IL.LIFE NOTES Mary and Howard loved to dance and went to the Blue Moon every Saturday night no matter what the weather. Not only could Mary dance up a storm, she also played the organ and piano. When the weather turned towards winter, Mary laced up her skates and moved with grace as she glided over the ice. She also loved to shop and was known for affinity for Fannie Mae Candy, although nothing could hold a candle to her famous chocolate chip cookies and breads she made from scratch. After Howard passed away, Mary would host a Christmas open house for all her friends and family. Mary opened her heart to everyone, especially babies who often "magically" disappeared from the arms of their parents and reappeared, calm and content in hers. This was also true of animals, especially dogs. Even those reputed to be mean, gave up their aggression to be comforted by her gentle hands. Mary will be greatly missed by all but can now again grace the dance floor to celestial music in the arms of her beloved Howard.SURVIVORS She is survived by four children:Howard (Evelyn) Thomas, Peg (Roy) VanMeter,Barbara (Ray) Stuckemeyer all of rural Burlington, IL and James Thomas of Sycamore, IL.Five granddaughters:Karen (Scott) Keneway of Kingston, IL, JoAnne (Gary) Rudsinski of Marengo, IL,Donna Hutsler of DeKalb, IL,Amanda (the late Curt Sunderlage) Stuckemeyer of Elgin, IL and Anna (David) Keehler of Carpentersville, IL;Five great-grandchildren:LCpl Kyle Keneway,Jason Keneway,Lauren Keneway,Brian Hutsler and PFC Michael Hutsler;One Brother, Lee (Mildred) Ahrens of Udina, IL;One favorite cousin, Donald Ahrens of Elgin, IL;Many nieces, nephews and a family of friends. PRECEDED She is preceded in death by her husband Howard B., her parents and her sister Marge Vierig.VISITATION / FUNERAL A memorial service hosted by her church and family will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at the Congregational Church of Lily Lake, 44W188 Empire Rd., Lily Lake, IL. There will be an hour of visitation from 1-2 p.m. with a memorial service to follow at 2 p.m. Rev. Peter Ackermann, pastor of the church, will officiate. Private family interment services have already been held. MEMORIAL In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name to benefit Vitas Hospice. Checks may be made to the "Vitas Hospice", and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through www.conleycare.com.
Congregational Church of Lilly Lake 44W188 Empire Road, Lily Lake, IL