Saturday, December 6, 2008

Merva 'Molly' L. (Menard) Reidy

Merva L. Reidy, age 100, passed away Saturday, December 6, 2008. She was born to the late Louis and Maude (Nee: Ley) Menard on October 3, 1908, in L’Anse, Michigan.

Merva graduated from L’Anse High School in 1925 at the young age of 16. Merva’s thirst for knowledge took her to Big Rapids, Michigan, where she attended Ferris State University. After completing coursework there, Merva’s sense of adventure took her to the big city of Detroit where she worked as an office manager and was an original “flapper” of the '20s. Soon she returned to her beloved Upper Peninsula (UP) where she married “Pat” Reidy at St. Patrick Church on November 28, 1928. The two made their way to Racine, Wisconsin where they built a successful construction company from the ground up. Many of the company’s buildings can still be found in the neighborhoods of Racine.

Merva worked hard but also knew the importance of having a good time. She could often be found holding extravagant parties for friends and family. Family was always at the top of Merva’s list, which included her extended family in the UP. In the summers, Merva and her children would travel north to the UP where she would spend quality time with friends and family.

Faith was second to none with Merva, as was witnessed in her involvement as a member of St. Rose’s and St. Richard’s Catholic Churches. There she served as president of the St. Rose Altar Society. She was also actively involved and president of MACCW (Milwaukee Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women), president of the Catholic Woman’s Club, member of Daughters of Isabella, and charter member of St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary.

Survivors include her son Patrick (Sarah) Reidy of Sturtevant; her five grandchildren, Tara (Cory) Schmidt of Racine, Lisa (Andrew) Keats of Burlington, Julie (Kevin) Mandli of McFarland, WI, Steven (Kristi) Reidy of Oconomowoc, WI, and Roberta Reidy of Chicago, Il; eight great-grandchildren, Cody, James and Wyatt Keats, Rachael and Rebecca Reidy, Kieran, Liam and Gabriel Mandli; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many dear friends. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Pat; daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Edward Penzkowski; and brother, Etmer Menard.

Merva was a strong, loving and religious person who loved her family and didn’t follow but led, paving new pathways for others.

“Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled
And that has made all the difference”
-- Robert Frost
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Richard Catholic Church, 1503 Grand Ave., on Wednesday, December 10, 2008, at 11 a.m., with Rev. Ronald J. Gramza officiating. Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the church on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass. Memorials to St. Richard Catholic Church have been suggested.

Merva’s family wishes to extend their sincere gratitude to the staff at Lincoln Lutheran for their kindness and help given throughout the years.

Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home
803 Main St., Racine (262) 634-7888

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