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Mary Ann VanBeck(1918 - 2012)

Van Beck, Mary Ann

Mary Ann Van Beck, 94, of Wisconsin Rapids, died Friday, December 7, 2012, at the Renaissance in Wisconsin Rapids.

Services will be at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 15th at Herman-Taylor Funeral Home and Cremation Center. Visitation will be from 2:00 p.m. until the time of services on Saturday at the funeral home. A private family interment will be held at a later date at St. Agnes Catholic Cemetery in Ashland, Wisconsin.

Mary Ann was born to Martha and Alexander Kennedy on February 3, 1918 in Ashland. After graduating from DePadua High School, she went to work for the government in Madison.

Mary Ann married Gerhard Van Beck on June 22, 1943 in Milwaukee. The two met when he roomed at the Kennedy family boarding house while working as a Braille transcriber on a WPA project in Ashland. The couple moved to Wisconsin Rapids that fall after purchasing a small vending machine route, which they operated together until 1972, when it was taken over by their son, Peter.

Mary Ann was an avid seamstress and needle worker. She was never without a project to keep her hands busy, even crocheting baby blankets and sweaters for her future great-grandchildren before they were born. In her later years she worked on these projects while listening to audio-books. She had a true love for all kinds of dogs. She especially enjoyed when her granddaughter Holly visited with her dog, Marlie. Long before "eating local" was a trend, she canned and froze most of the fruits and vegetables her family would eat during the winter, growing the vegetables herself and buying the fruits at local farm stands.

Survivors include one son, Peter (Judy) Van Beck of Wisconsin Rapids; one daughter, Rosemary (Richard) Henders of Batavia, Illinois; five grandchildren, Adam (Julie) Van Beck of Omaha, Nebraska; Holly Van Beck of Tomah; Lucas Van Beck of Wisconsin Rapids; Rebecca Henders of St. Paul and Robin (Brooke) Henders of Plainfield, Illinois. She was the proud great-grandmother of Ava and Jayden Van Beck and Camryn Henders. She is also survived by one sister, Lorraine White of Tucson, Arizona. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Gerhard, and two brothers, James and Gordon Kennedy.

Memorials may be designated to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Yorktown Heights, New York.

The family would like to thank all of the staff at the Renaissance for the wonderful care she received in the past seven years.

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Published in Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune on Dec. 10, 2012
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