Mary Jane Maloney, 65, a lifelong Oak Park resident, died on Jan. 9, 2013, after a tenacious battle against pancreatic cancer. Born and raised in the same bungalow where she would later raise her own three children, she treasured most her family, friends and neighbors. She was a graduate of St. Giles School (class of 1961), Trinity High School (class of 1965), and Marquette University (class of 1969), where she studied education and American history.
After college, she returned home to Chicago and began a public-service career spanning over four decades, teaching primary education, at St. Kevin, St. Anthony of Padua and her alma mater, St. Giles in the 1980s, where she was an innovative computer science teacher who empowered her students to create "The Lion's Pawprint," a successful student-run newspaper.
From the1990s until June 2012, Ms. Maloney expanded her reach as a dynamic educator into Chicago Public Schools, most recently at Florence Nightingale School and Hans Christian Andersen Academy. During her tenure at Andersen, she established "Hans Publishing," a creative and expository writing and art program featuring the voices of many Young Chicago Authors' award-winning stories.
Loved ones describe her as a remarkable person with an unforgettable smile and laugh, who will be missed by many friends, neighbors, colleagues and those whom she called her other children — her students. Her unconditional love, energy, humor, kindness, loyalty and willingness to never stop learning will be missed most of all.
Mary Jane Maloney is survived by her husband of 34 years, John Patrick; her three children, Mary Grace, Michael and Patricia; her siblings, Joseph (Madeleine Raymond) McDonald, Anne (Henry Oswald) Murphy, and Larry McDonald; her nieces and nephews, Maureen (Steve) Wittmer, Colleen (Luke) Sanna, Moira (Debra Farkas) McDonald, Tim (Laurie) Murphy, and Dan Murphy; and her cousins, Robert (Rose) Foskett, Clifford Foskett, and James (Mary Christine) Foskett. She was preceded in death by her parents, Mary Margaret and Joseph McDonald; her brother, John McDonald; and her cousins, Paul and Joseph Foskett.
A memorial Mass celebrating Mary Jane's life lived in joy and enthusiasm will be held on Saturday, Jan. 19 at St. Giles Church, 1045 Columbian Avenue, Oak Park with visitation at 10 a.m. and Mass at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Helping Hand Center, 9649 W. 55th St., Countryside, IL 60525, are encouraged.