Cover photo for Mary Anne Wirth's Obituary
Mary Anne Wirth Profile Photo
1937 Mary Anne 2023

Mary Anne Wirth

December 16, 1937 — November 30, 2023


Visitation for Mary Anne (Haering) Wirth of Inverness will be held Saturday, January 6, 2024 from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the funeral mass at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 2515 Palatine Road, Inverness. Inurnment will be held at St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery, Palatine. 
Mary Anne passed away on November 30, 2023, just 23 days after the death of her beloved husband of 63 years, James Wirth. She will be greatly missed by her much loved daughters, Lynn (David) Daugerdas, Laurie (Michael) Wood and cherished grandchildren, Amanda and Colin Wood and Trevor Daugerdas. Mary Anne was preceded in death by her dear parents, Raymond and Anna Haering and all six of her treasured siblings, Tommy (Catherine) Patarlis, Dorothy (Tony) Cerra, Dave (Vivian and Janet) Haering, Chuck (Mary Lou), Frances (Michael) Sicola, and Bobby (Sandy) Haering.

At her baptism, Mary Anne was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which meant she could only wear blue and white for the first seven years of her life. A master seamstress, Mary Anne made most of her clothes well into her 30s, mostly avoiding the color blue, and tweaking all store-bought clothing to ensure the perfect fit. She loved a good leopard print and always wore stylish shoes and just the right jewelry to highlight her outfit.

While growing up, Christmas tree decorating in the Haering household was assigned to Mary Anne’s older brothers much to her dismay. This, Mary Anne explained, was the origin of her tree decorating obsession as an adult. Mary Anne’s Christmas tree of choice was an enormous scotch pine which often took up half the living room. Tinsel was to be put on the tree one strand at a time and never just thrown on randomly. As a child, Mary Anne felt her December 16th birthday got lost in the rush of Christmas activities. To make up for all those years of combination birthday/Christmas presents, Jim, Lynn and Laurie always made a big deal about her birthdays with fun and festive celebrations. 

After finishing up coursework for her Bachelor of Science at Mount Mercy College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mary Anne went on to complete a dietetic internship at the Medical College of Virginia where she worked at a hospital designated for Richmond’s Black residents. At the time, the South was racially segregated, a practice that greatly disturbed Mary Anne and Jim, who had taken up permanent residence in Richmond after they married in 1960. Their white neighbors couldn’t understand why she and Jim would even think about attending parties hosted by Mary Anne’s black colleagues. Neither Mary Anne or Jim listened to their neighbors’ warnings about the company they kept. 

After starting their family, Mary Anne left work to become a stay-at-home mom but still proudly maintained her status as a Registered Dietitian for many years. Once her daughters were grown, Mary Anne ventured into a new career as a Youth Minister at her home parish, St. Thomas of Villanova in Palatine. There she met cherished friend, Jean Haen. Mary Anne secretly kept the money she earned from this position in a shoebox in the closet until Jim discovered it one day and suggested depositing the money into a bank account for herself.  

Mary Anne developed youth retreats with Father Ken Sedlak, a Redemptorist Priest assigned to the Sacred Heart Retreat Center, who became her spiritual guide, mentor and dear friend. The retreats incorporated centering prayer and many were published for use by other parishes. Mary Anne received the Deanery Coordinator Award in 1988 from the Archdiocese of Chicago in recognition of her outstanding contributions to youth ministry.

Mary Anne was an amazing cook and loved to throw dinner parties for family and friends, bringing out all the good china, silver and crystal. These parties would often evolve into silliness with Mary Anne showing everyone how to balance spoons on their noses and play music on the rims of their goblets. She often served a flaming cherries jubilee as the grand finale. 

Mary Anne was a member of the Palatine Hills Summer Women’s Golf League for over 30 years. She’d head to the links every Monday morning with three clubs, her 5 iron, her putter and her driver, where she’d hit straight and short followed by a skillful putt or two. Every summer, Mary Anne planted beautiful flowers throughout her garden, many of which she would move into the house to enjoy all winter long. Her pride and joy was her water garden which she insisted was imperative for her mental health. Mary Anne shared her love of gardening by serving on her townhouse association’s landscape committee.

The ocean was Mary Anne’s paradise. After she and Jim retired, they would escape from snowy Chicago winters to Gulf Shores, Alabama for the month of February. Mary Anne welcomed houseguests and treated them to homemade meals and long walks on the beach. She would take her low beach chair right up to the break of the waves to feel the water splash on her legs. She could listen and watch the waves for hours. 

One of Mary Anne’s greatest joys was her grandchildren: Amanda, Colin and Trevor. They called her “Dame” and she let them know how much she loved them by making delicious treats, listening to their thoughts and opinions, and cheering them on from the front row of every play, game, concert and other special events they were in.

Faith was a central part of Mary Anne’s life and her relationship with Jim. She witnessed God and prayer not just in extraordinary situations but in everyday life. Her mantra was “I am happy,

healthy and holy.” She loved bringing communion and praying with patients as a volunteer Eucharist Minister at Northwest Community Hospital.

Mary Anne dedicated the last part of her life to caring for Jim and his health. Her family and friends are comforted knowing they are together again in eternal life with their Heavenly Father who they served and honored all their lives.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Cancer Society in remembrance of Mary Anne who was a breast cancer survivor of nearly 30 years.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Anne Wirth, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Saturday, January 6, 2024

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

Holy Family Catholic Community Parish and Academy

2515 W Palatine Rd, Inverness, IL 60067

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, January 6, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Holy Family Catholic Community Parish and Academy

2515 W Palatine Rd, Inverness, IL 60067

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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