Mary McNicoll – Custom Obituary
GREEN BAY – While many families claim their parents were 1 in a million, the McNicoll family can more precisely state our mother was 1 in approximately 5.6 million. That’s how rare it is for a woman to reach age 100 and give birth nine or more times. Our mom was undoubtedly unique, and the world is without her now for the first time in more than a century.
Mary Marcella (Loeffler) McNicoll passed away October 26, 2023, at Tender Hearts Assisted Living in Howard while most of our family gathered away from the facility for a joyful get-together to talk about her life. It came as no surprise that she would choose to join our father and her one true love, James J. McNicoll, in private.
Born September 27, 1923, in Escanaba, Michigan, Mary was the daughter of Oscar Francis and Marcella Genevieve (Budzis) Loeffler. Do not describe her as a Yooper, however, as she detested that term. Our mom enjoyed golf, tennis and swimming as a young woman, yet she had not met a worthy spouse when she hit the old (at that time) age of 30. Fate intervened when the Escanaba Golf and Country Club hired a handsome young golf professional on April 8, 1954.
Mary soon went to the club to meet the new pro, a Duluth native who was more than five years her junior, and she nervously fidgeted with her pearl necklace during their first interaction. One twirl of the necklace too many sent a stream of pearls bouncing across the floor. Our future father helped her collect the stray pearls, earning a place in her heart for his act of chivalry. They began dating immediately and married later that year on November 20, 1954.
Mary worked for the Prudential Life Insurance Company, but soon transitioned into her true calling as a full-time mother. Three babies into their quickly growing family, our dad accepted the golf professional position at Shorewood Country Club in Green Bay and later Northbrook Golf Course in Luxemburg. More babies followed the move, soon filling up the four-bedroom family home on Preble Avenue. To us kids, it seemed like our mom was pregnant virtually all the time. Our parents finally decided it was time to find a bigger house in 1969 when she was expecting her ninth and final baby at the age of 45.
We fondly remember Friday fish dinners and Sunday dinners that often featured spaghetti and meatballs in honor of our dad’s half-Italian heritage. We all still make our mom’s recipe to this day. One trait that was our mother’s alone was her propensity for answering a question by breaking into song, usually from her favorite decade of music (the 1940s) and often “treating us” to multiple verses! We are convinced she was a big Bing Crosby fan because our dad resembled him, including his blue eyes.
Our mom was a strong woman and did not hesitate to instruct people in the correct way of doing things, assisted living facility staff included. However, her fortitude was put to the ultimate test on March 31, 1983, when our father suddenly passed away. It was a very difficult period for her, and it would be inaccurate to claim deep sadness was not a challenge for some time.
Mary leaves behind a legacy of love and family togetherness that we hope to have passed on to the next generations. She mentioned during the last years of her life that her goal was to make it to 100 years of age. You made it with a month to spare, Mom.
Mary is survived by her sister, Helen Todd; her children Mary (Joseph) Guldan, Barbara (Kenneth) DeJardin, Steven (Veronica) McNicoll, Michael McNicoll (Karen Myers), Jean (Kevin) Taylor, William McNicoll, Timothy McNicoll (Doreen Phillips), Carolyn McNicoll (William Curry), and James T. (Tammy) McNicoll; 24 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her parents, Oscar and Marcella Loeffler; her husband, James J. McNicoll; siblings John Loeffler, William Loeffler, and Catherine LeBaron; daughter-in-law Melinda McNicoll; grandchildren Steven Taylor and Catherine Schmidt, and great-grandson Joseph Schmidt.
The family would like to thank the staff at ProMedica Hospice, Tender Hearts Assisted Living, New Perspective Senior Community, Bellin Home Health, and Mary’s good friend, Laurie Bilich, for their compassionate care of our mother. It takes a village to provide care for our elderly, and you were important parts of Mary’s care village.
Friends may call on Monday, Oct. 30, from 4-8 p.m. at Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St., with the prayer service at 7:30 p.m. The family also will greet visitors at Nativity of Our Lord Church, 2270 S. Oneida St., from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31, prior to the funeral service at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent ProMedica Hospice or Tender Hearts Assisted Living.
© 2023 Copyright Mike Dauplaise
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system without express written, dated and signed permission from the author.