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Mary Catherine (Shea) Binsfeld

July 8, 1945 ~ April 6, 2021 (age 75)



Beloved Mary Catherine Binsfeld (née Shea) passed away peacefully the evening of Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at home in hospice care, thirteen days shy of her wedding anniversary, holding hands with Jim, her loving husband of nearly 46 years. She was also surrounded by her cherished children, Colleen and James, as well as her special friend, Bear, following a heroic five-year battle with cancer. Mary radiantly smiled three times before departing for her heavenly life (one last smile each for Jim, Colleen, and James). 

Mary was a proud Chicagoan. She grew up on Orchard Street in Lincoln Park and spent her summers picnicking and swimming at Fullerton beach with family. She attended St. Clement for her elementary and high school years of study, graduating with distinction as valedictorian of her high school class. Mary taught for 35 years with Chicago Public Schools. In 1973, she met the love of her life, Jim, at Schiller Elementary in Cabrini Green, and happily married on April 19, 1975. Additionally, Mary attended Chicago Teachers College. She taught Special Education at Orr High School, and completed her last 16 years at Senn High School as Chairperson of the Special Education Department. 

Mary’s favorite activities included playing tennis, bowling, attending Loyola University basketball games, and cheering on her children and grandchildren from the sidelines at their wide array of sporting events over the years. Mary and Jim also relished spending their spring break vacations with family in Cancún, México at their Royal Mayan beachfront villa for 30 years. After retirement, they enjoyed their Marriott timeshares in Branson, MO and Orlando, FL as well as countless other fun worldwide destinations, leading to many cherished family memories.

For many years, Mary was an active member of the Glenola Club of Loyola Center at St. Ignatius Parish. She served in various leadership roles on the Board including the role of Club President from 2008 - 2010 and was nominated ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2015. Mary’s invaluable contributions of her time, talent, and treasure will long be remembered. 

Of all her accomplishments, Mary’s most cherished role was as an adoring wife, mother, and grandmother. She was the center of her family's life, an exemplary model of strength, dignity, character, and unconditional love. Mary impressed upon us what really matters in life: faith, family, friends, and fun times celebrated together.

Beautiful as ever, Mary lived life to the fullest, with tremendous faith in the next. She had a profound spiritual devotion to St. Thérèse of Lisieux “The Little Flower,” often saying she could feel St. Thérèse’s loving presence beside her. 

Over the past five months, Mary treasured her devoted, in-home hospice caregivers, Emma and Marilou, who lovingly cared for her each day. Words can never truly convey our family’s gratitude for their heartfelt empathy, kindness, and tireless dedication.

Mary was preceded in death by her beloved parents, Dennis and Bridget “Delia” Shea (hailing from Co. Kerry, Ireland), two wonderful brother-in-laws, Monsignor Michael A. Binsfeld and William “Bill” Torger Hipskind; adored niece, Mari-Lynn ‘Lynnie’ Hipskind. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband, James Francis Binsfeld of nearly 46 years; her beautiful daughter, Colleen Mary (Binsfeld) Sullivan, dear son-in-law Patrick Sullivan, two darling granddaughters, Delia and Mackenzie Sullivan; her cherished son, James Michael Binsfeld; her loving brother, Dennis J. Shea (Ellen); her dear sister-in-law, Marietta (Binsfeld) Hipskind; treasured nephews and nieces Michael (Karen) Hipskind, Lisa (Michael) Moran, Stephen (Nora) Hipskind, Sharon (Lionel) Iorgulescu, Timothy (Ann) Shea, Michael (Maria) Shea, Dennis Shea, and Bryan (Jessica) Shea; countless fond grand nieces and nephews; dear cousins, and many wonderful friends.

A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, 6559 N. Glenwood Avenue., Chicago, IL. The Binsfeld family will welcome family and friends one hour prior to the service. Private interment at St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery in Chicago, IL.

Livestream Recording of the Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. will be available at https://www.facebook.com/stignatiuschicago/live_videos/.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, if attending in-person, please directly pre-register with St. Ignatius Catholic Church by sending an e-mail including your name, phone number, and number of people in your household attending (please count yourself in that number) to: is@stignatiuschurch.org


The Binsfeld family has respectfully asked that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in loving memory of Mary Catherine be made to:

Society of the Little Flower | 1.800.621.2806 | littleflower.org | 1313 N. Frontage Road | Darien, IL  60561 U.S.A.


To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Catherine (Shea) Binsfeld, please visit our tribute store.


April 24, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Ignatius Church
6559 N. Glenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626

Funeral Mass
April 24, 2021

11:00 AM
St. Ignatius Church
6559 N. Glenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626


Society of the Little Flower
1313 N. Frontage Road, Darien IL 60561
Web: http://littleflower.org

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