Mary Ann (Kunz) Chwaszczewski peacefully passed into the presence of her Lord and Savior during an afternoon nap on Friday, 5 June 2020. She was 88.
Mary Ann was born in Chicago on 13 August 1931 to Frank and Ursula (Sedlakowski) Kunz who both preceded her in death as did spouses Richard Chwaszczewski (1987) and James Kruger (2003) and brother Francis (2019).
She is survived by her sister Loretta, her five children Richard (Beth), James (Jill), Mary Williams, John, and Thomas. Her legacy includes 11 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nephews and nieces.
Mary Ann celebrated an exuberant life with friendships stretching back to St. Theodore’s primary school. She and Richard raised their family in an immigrant Chicago neighborhood until moving to Green Bay in 1969. She excelled as an administrative professional, when it was known as typist or secretary. She first pecked out insurance reports from Dictaphone tapes at 120 words per minute while her brood circled her desk at top speed using outside voice. It was a home office. She corrected grammar and spelling on the fly for academic correspondence and the numerous theses she polished for students at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1983, she concluded her career creating and editing correspondence for senior managers at the Seattle Times.
After her husband Richard died in 1987, Mary Ann met and later married James Kruger, who awakened her love of camping and hiking. Their adventures lasted 14 years, when Jim succumbed to cancer in 2003 at their Kalispell, MT home. Mary Ann lovingly attended to him as caregiver. She had a gift for the compassionate care of loved ones. Her journey continued in Kingman AZ, where she renewed friendships with members of her first bridal party. She shared her energy and showered encouragement on those in her circle.
Mary Ann was a skilled practitioner of sewing, quilting, cross stitch, and other needlework. Her file cabinet burst with patterns and books about her next project. She loved and collected elephants, fluffy or ceramic, plain or flamboyant. She had dozens of books promising a solution to dismiss clutter. She found none that worked.
Music was integral to her life. Its appreciation was a special gift to her family, each of whom absorbed the habit in their own measure. Mary Ann played piano at church and for school musicals, assemblies, and talent shows. She sang in choirs and on stage with the Sweet Adelines. She acted in musicals like Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, and Kiss Me Kate. But, most of all, she loved to dance.
In her prime Mary Ann was a spritely and passionate dancer, concentrating on ballroom, square dancing, and for a time, clogging. She even took a turn at belly-dancing. Mary Ann was an adventurer, celebrating birthdays by riding an elephant, plying the skies in a glider, or descending into the Grand Canyon by helicopter.
Mary Ann was an independent and spirited woman who both enjoyed and endured whatever life brought her way. Her earthly itinerary ended in San Diego.
We count ourselves fortunate to have had such a wonderful mother who infused us with a joyful spirit, contentment, and patient endurance. Most of all, Mary Ann embraced us with an unconditional love that we may only hope to imitate and reflect to our families.
In her last year, son Thomas acted as Mary Ann’s conscientious caregiver, a duty he treasured and one which deserves acknowledgement and praise.
The family encourages you to remember Mary Ann by propagating her joy of living to your families and friends.
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