Mary Kathryn Holtzman Kanies On Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, Mary Kathryn Holtzman Kanies passed gently away, surrounded by her family. In recent years, she was kept close to home by Parkinson's Disease. Mary grew up on the prairies of South Dakota during the Great Depression. She left home at age 18 to work in war-related industries in Cleveland, Ohio, and Denver, Colo. There she met her husband Art, a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. They married and moved to Elgin, where he finished his degrees and began teaching at Elgin High School, where he remained for 34 years. Together they raised seven children, belonging to St. Laurence and St. Thomas More Parishes. In her home, Mary created a climate that fostered learning and encouraged an interest in art and music. In the 1970s, at a time when women were postulating that they could "have it all" - career and family - Mary had mostly raised hers and began attending college. She received her master's degree in library science in 1974. She became librarian at St. Edward High School in 1973, and remained there until she retired in 1995. Mary loved to travel with family and friends, both in the US and abroad. She loved Ireland, Spain, France and Italy. As recently as 2007, she was in Russia cruising on the Volga River. Mary supported the local arts community. She was a watercolorist and belonged to the Wayne Art League. She was a founding member and past president of Fox Valley Beaux Arts, a group that awards grants to young artists and musicians. Survivors include her children, Roger (Judith), Steve, Mary Ellen Kanies Beckmann (Bill), Patricia Peyer (Greg), Margy Wascher (Bruce), Tom (Maggie) and Jerry; her siblings, Janet Beattie, Roberta Connolley and Fr. Jerome Holtzman; and her grandchildren, Gwendolyn, Kristen, Isaiah, Teresa, Luke, Will, Anna, Aaron and Andrew (Kanies), Jennifer Beckmann; James and David Peyer; Kathryn and Michael Wascher; and 16 great-grandchildren. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, Dec. 3, at 1:30 p.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, burial will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Sunday, from 4 to 6 p.m. at St. Thomas More , and then again on Monday, from 12:30 p.m. until the time of Mass in church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be to St. Thomas More Parish or Fox Valley Beaux Arts. Laird Funeral Home, Elgin, is assisting the family. For information, 847-741-8800 or visit

Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald from Dec. 1 to Dec. 2, 2012