Mary Frances Grosch
1955 - 2021
August 1, 1955
April 7, 2021

Mary Frances Grosch

Aug. 1, 1955 - April 7, 2021

ARNOLD, MISSOURI - Mary Frances Grosch, 65, passed away at home in Arnold, MO, on April 7, 2021, after a short, courageous battle with cancer.

She was born on August 1, 1955, in Decatur, IL, to Eugene Anthony and Frances (Dunne) Grosch. Mary was affectionately known to her family and friends as "Murph."

In 2003, she met Pete Fornek and they were married on October 7, 2006.

Mary was employed for most of her career at Founders Memorial Library, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL. Beginning in 1985 as the Business Subject Specialist, she later served as the Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences Subject Specialist and finally as Head of Government Publications from 2007 until her retirement in 2012. She spent one year early in her career in a visiting faculty position at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan.

She was a graduate of St. Teresa High School, Decatur, IL, Class of 1973. She graduated from St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI with a Bachelor of Arts (Art History) in 1977 and went on to earn a Master of Business Administration in 1983 and a Master of Library Science in 1985, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2001, while a faculty member at NIU, she completed the Didactic Program in Dietetics and later became a Registered Dietitian (RD).

Mary was interested in the field of Children's Literature and passed on her love of books to her nieces and nephews. She enjoyed traveling, visiting local botanical gardens and touring historical sites. Her time in Japan at Keio University also inspired a love of Japanese art and artifacts.

She is survived by her husband of fifteen years, Pete Fornek; her sisters and brothers: Margaret Mary "Midge" Grosch (husband, Walter Sulskis) of Lacey, WA, Fr. Robert D. Grosch of Billings, MT, Eugene Anthony "Tony" (wife, Kathy) Grosch of Elgin, IL, Teresa A. Grosch (husband, Thomas Roberts) of Glencoe, IL, and Catherine C. "Kit" Grosch of Antioch, TN; nieces and nephews: Abigail, Melissa, Adam, Frank and Nell; and nine great-nieces and great-nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, John, and her nephew, Noah.

A Graveside Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, May 1 , 2021, at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in DeKalb.

Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at Anderson Funeral Home in DeKalb.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, masks and social distancing will be required at both Visitation and Graveside Service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to either the American Cancer Society or to Mercy Oncology and

Hematology - Sindelar Cancer Center, 10650 Kennerly Rd., Suite 2400, St. Louis, MO 63128

For information, visit or call 815-756-1022.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Decatur Herald & Review on Apr. 13, 2021.
9:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.
Anderson Funeral Home - DeKalb
2011 South Fourth Street, Dekalb, IL 60115
Graveside service
St. Mary Catholic Cemetery
, DeKalb, Illinois
Funeral services provided by:
Anderson Funeral Home - DeKalb
Please consider a donation as requested by the family.
Sponsored by Anderson Funeral Home - DeKalb.
Add a Message
7 Entries
I love you Mu! I have already started to call you several times. You were and are the best of the best!! Love, Kitty
Kit Grosch
May 4, 2021
Murph was a very kind and sweet person . She will be missed by many!
May 1, 2021
My wife and I didnt know Murph very well but have been longtime friends of her husband and on behalf of the Sharp Family we offer our condolences to Pete and the rest of her family.
Justin and Charlie Sharp
April 22, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of times when she stopped by St. Vincent de Paul in Billings. May she rest in peace
Nick Lewison
April 21, 2021
Mary was a wonderful person and a dedicated librarian. Deepest Sympathy To The Family, May Your Memories Bring You Comfort and Peace.
Kenneth Kamm
April 15, 2021
What a wonderful woman with a loving heart and beautiful smile. We'll miss you Murph.
Bill and Donna Shockey
April 12, 2021
My mind still talks to you and my heart still looks for; however, my soul knows you’re at peace...
Pete Fornek
April 12, 2021