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“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~Thomas Campbell

9 bleeding heart1

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~Thomas Campbell

Mary Kay Kucirek 1

Mary Kay Kucirek 2edited

Mary Kay Gritzmacher Kucirek, 83, passed to eternal life on February 2, 2018.

She was born in Green Bay, WI and was adopted by her loving parents, Franklin and Marge Gritzmacher of Wausau. She attended St. James Grade School and Wausau Jr. High School, and graduated from Wausau Sr. High School in 1952. Mary Kay attended Stephens College in Columbia, MO, where she sang in the choir and belonged to Zeta Phi Delta sorority, acting as president her senior year. She worked for Braniff Airlines at Midway Airport in Chicago after college, where she took care of many celebrities like Bob Hope, Harry Truman, and Marilyn Monroe.

She married her high school sweetheart, Joe, on August 18, 1956 at St. James Catholic Church, after which he was commissioned as staff judge advocate in the Air Force. They were stationed in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. They returned to Wausau to raise their family.

Mary Kay was active at St. James (Resurrection) Parish, serving as an Extraordinary Eucharistic minister, catechist, organizer of the Jamestown Bazaar fundraiser for many years, and Girl Scout and Cub Scout troop leader. She was a member of Martha’s Helpers who cleaned the church, and volunteered in the parish Soup Kitchen for many years. She was a member of the parish Catholic Women’s Club and served as President. She was also active in the deanery and diocesan Catholic Women’s Clubs, and attended several national conventions. She was a library aide at St. James Grade School.

Mary Kay was active in the Birch Trails Girl Scout Council, including organizing council wide trips for the scouts. She also volunteered at the YWCA and served as President. She was a volunteer for many years at the Aspirus Hospital gift shop. Mary Kay was also active in the Jaycettes, serving one year as President.

Mary Kay enjoyed music, playing bridge with her bridge club (now the Lunch Bunch), reading, traveling, and backing the Packers, Brewers, and Badgers. She was a big fan of Mike Leckrone and the UW Marching Band. She was skilled at many crafts such as crochet, needlepoint, cross stitch, Ukrainian egg decorating, decoupage, quilling, knitting, and making various types of dolls.

She is survived by her children Peg (Randy), Joe (Lori), John (Tammy), Virginia (Tom), and Mary (Paul); grandchildren Noelle, Jenny, Samantha, Kory, Andrew, Jenna, and Timothy; step grandchildren Jessica and Tristin; great grandchildren Kaylie, Madisyn, Ella, Levi, Hunter, Aslyn, Violet, and Maddie; brother-in-law Bob (Angie); sister-in-law Jeannie, nephew Scott and niece Krystyna. She is further survived by her birth family siblings Norbert (Joyce), Robert (Theresa), John (Louise), Louis (Joanne), Mary, and Dorothy (Clarence).

Mary Kay was preceded in death by her parents, beloved Uncle Elmer, brother-in-law Donald, birth family siblings William and Marge, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of the Resurrection Catholic Parish, Wausau, with burial to follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Fr. Robert Streveler will officiate. Visitation will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 9, 2018 at Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams Street, Wausau, and again from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Parish Rosary will be held at 6:30 p.m., Friday, at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, Mary Kay asked that donations be given to the Marathon County Humane Society.

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  1. Anne gore Gausmann

    02/05/2018 at 11:51 am

    Dear Peggy and family Sorry to hear about your mother .I so enjoyed reading about your mother I knew she was an interesting person I just didn’t know how many things she was into and what a rich and deep life she had .I really also enjoyed her picture from her youth …how much Peggy you look like her Also I think that’s where you got your fun spirit from Sorry I wasn’t able to make it to the funeral and sorry for your loss she will be missed by a lot of people

  2. Lorrie Lukas

    02/05/2018 at 11:51 am

    My sincere condolences to the Kucirek family on the loss of Mary Kay. She was a dear friend to me going way back to Jaycette days. Kindness and laughter were a part of her beautiful personality. We always reconnected every few years and she often surprised me with a phone call and/or a birthday card. Peace and joy in eternity,..Mary Kay.
    Loretta (Lorrie) Lukas
    New Berlin, WI

  3. Lynn Mitchell/ Marge Kalkoske

    02/05/2018 at 11:51 am

    Our deepest sympathies to your family. She was a dear and special friend to my mother, Marge Kalkoske, and I remember her very fondly as well. Unfortunately my mother is unable to attend the services. You are in her thoughts and prayers.

  4. Ruth Blado

    02/05/2018 at 11:51 am

    Her church family (Resurrection) will miss her. What a giving beautiful soul!

    Ruth Blado

  5. Jeannie Worden

    02/05/2018 at 11:51 am

    Dear Kucirek Family – We are sorry to hear of the passing of your Mom. She was such a lovely and kind person. Unfortunately we are not in town and will be unable to attend the service. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Jeannie and Jerry Worden.

  6. Christa McCarten

    02/05/2018 at 11:51 am

    The passage of your mom, grandma, sister, aunt and friend is a time for sadness. The heart Mary Kay had for others is a rare gift to the many people who had the privilege to know her. Wishing all of you moments of peace and comfort as you remember Mary Kay’s remarkable life. And may God’s blessings shine upon you.

  7. Sherry Wunsch

    02/05/2018 at 11:51 am

    My deepest sympathy to all of you. May you find peace and comfort in the days to come.
    Mary Kay was a wonderful lady and I’m glad I had the privilege of knowing her.

  8. Mary Lou Gajewski

    02/05/2018 at 11:51 am

    Mary & family, we were so sorry to hear about your Mother . Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Hold on to all your wonderful memories of her. Our Deepest Sympathy, God’s Blessings to all. Ron & Mary Lou Gajewski

  9. Lena G. Blohm

    02/05/2018 at 11:51 am

    Our deepest condolence to all of you. We cannot attend the services due to health issues. Have many fond memories of the past years with Mary Kay. Will miss all of the years we didn’t get to have due to this time of our lives. Great friend, great lady, great person in all that she did. The old neighborhood will not be the same without her. Love and God Bless. Lena and Ed Blohm

  10. Jane Gallagher-Dozier

    02/05/2018 at 11:51 am

    Peggy, Joe, Ginger, John & Mary Jo: my heart goes out to each of you and to your families during this sad time. May you find comfort in holding those you love close, and knowing that your mothers memory will live on in the hearts of all who knew her. She holds a very special place in mine.
    With sincere condolences,
    Jane Gallagher-Dozier