Mary Philomena Puccinelli, 80, of Oak Park, died on Nov. 24, 2010 in the presence of her children. Born in Ireland and educated in a one-room schoolhouse in County Wexford, she became a midwife in England and a nurse in America, where she delivered hundreds of babies and shared her boundless love with everyone lucky enough to have met her.
According to an obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times, she was known for "her focus on outdoor play and creative games" and her contempt for television. Her Irish stew and lasagna were the hit of the neighborhood. During school vacations, while her husband worked, she would pile the kids in the station wagon and drive to Disney World.
Loved ones tesitfy that "those who met you even through the years of your affliction, were no less entranced by the generosity of your spirit. Though Alzheimer's stole memories of the here and now, it was powerless to blind the hearts that surrounded you."
Her brain was donated for study in hopes of leading to a cure for Alzheimer's disease.
She was the wife of the late Henry; the mother of Robert, Michael (Beth), Lisa, Francis, Anna (Jan) DeKeyser and the late Sylvia; the grandmother of Ophelia Puccinelli and grandmother in spirit to Julian Kelley; the daughter of the late Robert and Eliza O'Donoghue; and the sister of Anna, Tom, Rita and the late Michael, Pat and Betty.
Visitation took place on Nov. 28 at Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home, 7319 W. Madison St., Forest Park. A funeral Mass was celebrated on Nov. 29 at St. Catherine and St. Lucy Church in Oak Park, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.