Mary A. Sullivan Fox, Janesville (1938 - 2012)
January 22, 1938 - August 1, 2012
Mary Fox passed into eternal life, at home and surrounded by her family, on August 1, 2012, after a courageous year-long struggle with brain cancer. Mary's entire life had been spent serving others, and her family is honored to have been able to serve her for the past year and see her through her illness.
Mary Agnes Sullivan was born on January 22, 1938, the second of seven children born to Tim and Ann (Reilly) Sullivan of Harmony Township near Janesville, Wisconsin. Growing up in rural Janesville, Mary and her sisters and brother spent many happy hours exploring the countryside and making friends. She was active in Harmony 4-H, developing many skills which would serve her well for the rest of her life. She graduated from Janesville High School in 1956 and earned her Registered Nursing degree from St. Mary's School of Nursing in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1959-a member of the "Sublime of '59." Mary remained close, lifelong friends with many of her school classmates. For the past 26 years, she was an allergy nurse at Dean Clinic in Janesville. She very much enjoyed helping patients, and she counted her co-workers among her best friends.
On June 25, 1960, Mary was married to Gerard Fox by Msgr. E. J. Beck at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Janesville, and for the next 52 years they made their home on Fox Road in Porter Township. Mary was lovingly proud of her nine children and even more so of her ten grandchildren, whose school and sporting events she loved to attend.
Mary was an active member of St. Joseph Parish, Edgerton, WI and the St. Francis Circle of the St. Joseph Council of Catholic Women. For several years she taught catechism at St. Joseph. She enjoyed participating in parish events, where her cooking, baking, craft and organizational skills were called upon countless times over the years. She especially enjoyed a parish trip to Branson, MO in 2010.
Mary was an accomplished seamstress and cook - skills she learned from her mother and passed on to her children. She could fix anything and solve any problem. She loved to tend her vegetable and flower gardens, and every year she pickled, canned and froze the vegetables and fruits which her family would enjoy until the next year's harvest. Her beautifully crocheted blankets will be special keepsakes for her family and friends.
Mary's dedication to 4-H lasted her entire lifetime. During the many years her children were in 4-H, she was a sewing project leader for Porter 4-H, and she served one term as Porter 4-H Club Chair-woman. She was elected to the Rock County Fair Association Board of Directors from 1985-1996, and was Treasurer of the Board from 2000-2008. In 2002, Mary and Jerry received the Rock County 4-H Fair Alumni Distinguished Alumni Award for their many years of service and dedication.
Mary is survived by her beloved husband, Jerry; her children, Janet, Sue, Bill (Sheila), Judy, Karen (Joe Hoyle), Annette (Brian Barger), Maureen (Troy Rusch), Rosemary, Teresa Reilly, who she considered a daughter, and son-in-law Bill Skierka; her grandchildren, Anthony, Tim and Jeff Skierka; Michael Hesselman and James and Jacob Fox; Brian and Shannon Rusch; and Andrew and Elizabeth Barger; her sisters and brother, Pat (Gino) Casucci, Kathie (Rollie) Amundson, Jerry (Julie) Sullivan, Noreen (Craig) Hermanson, Gert (Gary) LeFoll, and Jane (Bob) Townsend; her brother- and sisters-in-law, Rev. George Fox (Ret.), Mae Fox, Dotty (Roger) Nittler, Dolores Curran, Mary Lynn Fox and Joan Fox; as well as many nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends, all of whom were important to her. She was preceded in death by her beloved daughter, Laurie, on February 6, 2000; and her brothers-in-law Jim Fox, George Disrude, and Roger Fox.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, August 6, 2012 at ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH, Edgerton with Father David Timmerman officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery Janesville. Visitation times will be Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Whitcomb-Lynch-Albrecht Funeral Home, Edgerton and from 10:00 a.m. until time of services Monday at the church. No Rosary will be recited at the visitation. Mary's grandsons will be her pallbearers.
Memorials may be made to Rock County 4-H Fair Board-Memorials, PO Box 606, Janesville, WI 53547; or Agrace HospiceCare, 3001 W. Memorial Drive, Janesville, WI 53548. The family would like to thank the staff of the UW Carbone Cancer Center, especially Dr. Ian Robins, Dr. Steven Howard and Lori Hayes, for their treatment of and concern for Mary; and Agrace HospiceCare, especially Amy and Angie, who provided such compassionate care for Mary and her family.
Mary was a woman of great faith who faced this last struggle with exceeding courage and dignity.
Be not afraid, I go before you always. Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.
Your struggles are over, Mom. Rest in peace, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Whitcomb-Lynch-Albrecht Funeral Home
and Cremation Services, Edgerton
1004 S. Main St. 608-884-6010