It took 91 years to learn life’s most important family secrets - the pickle recipe, which her beloved great-niece perfected, the potato salad recipe, and the coveted pierogi recipe, which I think she may say still needs work, “but you’re getting close.”
Mary Ann, fondly referred to as Auntie Macka, still touches so many lives as our great aunt, aunt, cousin, God mother, and wife to her pierogi- making partner in crime Francis, aka Unkie to us. Macka and Unkie swear they have the REAL pierogi recipe down to a science. They have it documented. We know they’re right.
They shared their talents, time, and pierogis with organizations and friends in the Calumet City American Legion Post 330 and Hammond Mohawks. During the holidays, Mary Ann and Francis would dress as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. They loved volunteering and bringing joy to children. As members of St. Casimir Church, they made their home in North Hammond. Mary Ann worked at Stratojac assembling pieces for creating coats, and would often speak of the wonderful friends she had the pleasure to know.
If you saw Mary Ann, you might have realized quickly that she loved the color pink, and we came to associate her with anything of the color. Even her kitchen cabinets we’re pink when we were growing up. We always knew that when we visited, she would insist we stay and eat, and there would be something chocolate - one of her favorites- there for us to share. I guess it’s fitting that her first job was at Queen Anne Candy with her sisters Genevieve and Stella. Mary Ann says she boxed the candy in an assembly line with her sisters, and always enjoyed a piece or “five.” She would laugh when she told this story.
Over the months, we have been spending quality time together with Auntie Macka, learning her cooking tricks, reliving the memories of her growing up in Calumet City as the youngest of six children, trying to unsuccessfully beat her at game shows, and encouraging her to get a driver’s license to drive to the casino so she can “win that million.” She wanted to share it with her family.
She is greatly missed. We carry her in our hearts in who we are, what we have learned and become, and the legacy we will continue to provide for the younger generations in our family through stories, memories, and anecdotes. She joins her heavenly parents, brothers Anthony, John, and Joseph, sisters Stella, Genevieve, and beloved husband , Francis. If we listen closely, we will surely hear them singing and dancing to Polka music in our hearts. We certainly cannot rule out pierogi making either. Or pork tacos.
A visitation will be at Hillside Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 8941 Kleinman Rd (one block south of Ridge Rd) Highland, IN, 46322, on Sunday, November 28, 2021 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am.
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