Visitation for Mary C. (Barbero) Powers, 104, of Palatine, Illinois, be held at the Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, 201 N. Northwest Highway in Palatine on Friday, October 21, 2022 from 3:00pm until 9:00pm, with recitation of the Holy Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy from 2-3 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be said for her at 10:00 am on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 455 N. Benton Street, Palatine, Illinois. The Interment will follow at St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery. Rev. Mathew Jameson will officiate.
Mary passed away on October 5, 2022.
Devoted wife of 60 years to the late John S. Powers; loving mother of John D. (Carmen M.) Powers, James F. (H. Elaine) Powers, Thomas J. (Deirdre E.- her Godchild) Powers, Daniel E. Powers, Mary Anne Basak, Juliana (Ronald W.) Tragasz, and Bernadette Powers; proud grandmother of John M. (Heather) Powers, Maria K. (Chad) Conlon, Konrad (Leanne) Powers, Eva M. (Rich) Haus, James T., and Charles R. Powers, Lucas J. Powers, Jedediah F. (Maria) Powers, Grace Carranza, Amber D./Cali Powers, Carolyn M. (Clint) Harness, Kristin S. (Chad) Jahn, Christopher J.F. Galiardo, Christina A.M. (Christopher) McGill, Nicholas J.A. (Erin) Galiardo, Stephanie M.E.(Peter) Loehr, Monica M.C. (Caleb) Schmitz, Jessica L. (Mark) Cerepa, Katherine A. Tragasz, Christopher S. (Noelle) Tragasz, Antonie M. Ehredt, and Deirdre A. (Kevin) Brigden; proud great-grandmother of John A. and Liam Powers, Carmen & Daniel Conlon, Nathan Powers, Vincent & Barbara Zofkie, Lorena, Daniel, and Victor T. Powers, Savannah and Julianna Carranza, Luke M. Harness, Olivia A. Jahn, Olivia M., Ethan J., Jack C., and Maxwell H. McGill, Charles S., Mary F., Evelyn A., & John A. Loehr, Benedict F. Schmitz, Maia L., and Audrey S. Tragasz; sister-in-law of Adelaide M. Powers; loving aunt of 22 nieces and nephews.
Born in Leechburg, PA, to a coal miner and homemaker, both Italian immigrants who became naturalized citizens, she graduated from Manley High School in Chicago in 1936. She designed the Manley High School class ring. Continuing to develop her artistic talents at the Art Institute of Chicago she worked for many years at Sears & Roebuck in the art department and at Fixler Brothers designing needlework. During WWII, she put these artistic skills to patriotic use drafting venting systems for warships and was awarded the Army-Navy Award for Excellence in War Production for her work. She served as Women’s Chairperson for the National Electronics Conference in 1965 and was instrumental in helping her husband found Scientific Sales Corporation.
Most people, however, knew Mary not from such work but from her humble devotion to her faith and to charity. A devout Catholic and generous “giver” Mary lived her life according to biblical principles especially Luke 12:48. “and to those whom much has been entrusted even more will be asked…” One of the longest serving Occupational Therapy volunteers at St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly serving the poor for over 45 years and serving as President of the Ladies Auxiliary for 3 terms as well as a member of the Association Jean Jugan. She was a member of St. Theresa Church in Palatine for over 72 years, where she served as treasurer of the CCW (now is its Women’s Club), was a member of the Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary since 2008 and was a longtime volunteer at its school. She also volunteered at the former Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Rolling Meadows, was a legacy member of the Legion of Christ and founder of a scholarship at Ave Maria University in Naples FL. She & her husband, John, helped found the University of Sacramento.
Mary did not restrict her charitable work to the church, however. Through the years, she regularly could be found helping flood victims as a Red Cross volunteer, shelving books as a volunteer at the Palatine Library or aiding a young quadriplegic boy through physical therapy. In March 1966 she and her husband John took in a family of 9 whose home had burned down, until they were able to find a new home. Alexian Brothers Health System repeatedly honored her for her Philanthropy, with its Christ the Healer Award in 2005, Bronze Christ the Healer in 2007 & Crystal award in 2009. She also sponsored volunteers for the Appalachia Service Project to help the poor in Kentucky. The sister, mother, and sister-in-law of veterans, she helped serve dinner to active military at an Easter Dinner for the Troops from Great Lakes.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, John S. Powers; parents James (Giacomo) and Carolina C. (Meriggi) Barbero; 3 children lost before birth: Carol, Andrew and Lucy; grand-children Angela and Angelo Galiardo, and others who died before birth; great grandchildren Sebastian Powers, Christian, Francis & Andrew McGill, Gabriel M. & Jude A. Loehr & others lost before birth; siblings Margaret M., Peter, Frank L. (Julia Gaza) & Charles P. (Claudia C. Cozzi) Barbero, Madeline C. (Charles F.) Alessio, and Jenny T. (Frank C.) Isacco, Kathryn B. (Robert) Jago; in-laws Margaret M. (“Jack”/John J.) Kelly, Ethel R. (William J./Bill) Hoehne, Joan T.(George) Baldwin, Zita F. (Robert) Colburn, Robert E. Powers, Jacqueline A. (Robert L.) Burrus; nephews/ nieces: Vincent M. and Christopher H. Burrus; Charles F. Isacco, Brian Baldwin, Christine (Isacco) English, Anita M. Jago, Mary Kay (Burrus) Nalker- her Godchild.
In lieu of flowers, she requested that donations are made to any of the following in her memory: Save the Storks (www.savethestorks.com); St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly/LSOP (www.littlesistersofthepoorpalatine.org/); Pro-life Action League (www.prolifeaction.org); Society of the Divine Word (http://www.divineword.org/); St. John Paul II Crisis Pregnancy Center (www.jpiilifecenter.org); American Life League (www.americanlifeleague.revv.co); St. Theresa Church (www.sttheresachurch.org); Carmelite Monastery in Des Plaines IL; Cross Catholic Outreach (www.CrossCatholicLegacy.org); EWTN (https://www.ewtn.com); St. Jude’s Hospital for Children (www.stjude.org); The Legionaries of Christ (legionariesofchrist.org/) or Women’s Care Center (http://www.womenscarecenter.org/).