Mary Ann Shaw Seeberg
Died peacefully on July 13, 2019 in Charlotte, NC, eleven days shy of her 94th birthday, holding hands with Bill, her loving husband of 70 years. She is survived by her seven children: Mark (Patty), Bill (Paula), Jim (Colleen), Kate (the late Lee) Garvey, Dan (Susan), Gina, and Tom (Mary); 17 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren; sister Jeannie Carpenter and brother Joseph Shaw, and countless nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother Jim, her son-in-law Lee Garvey, and her granddaughter Lizzy Seeberg.
Born on July 24, 1925 in Stuart, Iowa, the daughter of William Shaw and Kathryn Thielen, the second of four children, Mary Ann was shaped by life on a farm during the American Dust Bowl and Great Depression, a rough and tumble time of kerosene lanterns, unrelenting work, and neighbors who often faced foreclosure. This fact did not leave Mary Ann’s own children with much room to complain. “Offer it up,” she would often exhort them!
The family persevered and, indeed, thrived, supported by their Catholic faith and loyalty to one another. Mary Ann graduated from tiny Farrar High School in 1943, one of only four seniors that year, and pursued her college degree first at St. Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana, then at Mundelein College in Chicago, where she earned a degree in biology in preparation for a career in teaching. There she met her future husband, Bill Seeberg, who was finishing his college days at Loyola University after serving as a lieutenant in the Marine Corps during the Second World War. Their first date was at a Loyola basketball game in old Alumni Gym.
In 1948, they married and settled into their new life together, only to be interrupted in 1950 when Bill was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. Over the next two years, they ferried between the coasts with two children in tow, first in California where Bill was assigned duty on the naval base on Coronado Island, then to Quantico, Virginia where he served as an instructor in the Officer Basic School. Housing for married officers with children was especially tight; they moved over a dozen times.
Finally, with the end of the war, Mary Ann and Bill returned to Chicago and peace-time normalcy. In 1955, they moved to the northern suburbs, eventually putting down roots in Northfield, where they raised their children for over thirty years. With retirement, they moved to Lake Lure, North Carolina in the mountains between Charlotte and Asheville.
Mary Ann was an extrovert with the gift of gab, who loved a good laugh and greatly enjoyed any gathering of family and friends. She loved to take long walks and did so at a rapid clip well into her 90s. She was a terrific athlete, first as a tenacious defender during her high school’s run in the famous Iowa State Girls’ Basketball Tournament, later as an offensive threat when her college coach discovered her running one-handed jump shot. In her mid-fifties, she took up tennis and, within several years, she and Bill reached the finals in the mixed doubles championship at Sunset Ridge Country Club.
Mary Ann was an inveterate clipper of articles, requiring each child to read and share and discuss what they had learned at the family dinner table. She hated computers.
She challenged her children to be inquisitive, to be kind to others, to remember those who had nothing. She was at her best in a crisis, when grace and practical wisdom and faith were most needed. She was a tireless advocate for the unborn and their right to life.
Mary Ann was first and last a mother, who loved nothing more than holding a child in her lap with gentle ease, a joyful smile on her face. She was the center of her family’s life, a model of strength, dignity, character, and love.
Stunningly beautiful, Mary Ann lived this life to the fullest, with great faith in the next. We will celebrate her Mass of the Resurrection on July 23rd at 10:30 a.m., following visitation at 9:30 a.m., at Devine Mercy Parish at St. Philip the Apostle Church,1962 Old Willow Road in Northfield, IL. Private interment at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Northbrook. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Chicago’s Aid For Women: https://www.helpaidforwomen.org/donatenow
Chicago Aid for Women
8 S.Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL 60603
Chicago's Aid for Women
8 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1418, Chicago IL 60603