November 1, 1921 ~ April 12, 2019 Passed away peacefully on Friday, April 12 at the remarkable age of 97 surrounded by her loving family, enveloped in love. Born & raised in Ohio, the daughter of Elizabeth & T. Fredrick Mooney, one of 7 children. M.K. attended Ohio State University until the onset of WWII. In 1943, at age 22, in opposition to her parent's wishes, this trailblazing woman enlisted in the Navy WAVES. She served as Instrument Flight Instructor in Corpus Christi, TX. One of her student pilots, Ens. Glen Olson, made her heart soar. They married on December 6, 1944 and celebrated 70 years together. Her patience, sense of humor, and devotion were attributes that provided her the wherewithal to help raise 7 children together. Her lifelong passions were her family, friends, faith and golf. At times she stated that she "nearly lost her religion on the golf course" but, at 57, her religious fervor was renewed following her hole in one at Pinehurst Country Club. She continued to golf into her 90s, miraculously after a tragic fall down their stairs at home broke her neck at age 88. Mary Kay had an insatiable quest for learning, culture and the arts. She was a logophile with an impressive vocabulary, known by friends as 'The Walking Dictionary'. She was a voracious reader, particularly of historical novels and biographies, skilled at bridge, sewing and knitting. She so enjoyed her travels through Europe, particularly to her ancestral Ireland and visits to special friends in England. Her mastery of graphology fascinated guests with the insights she inferred from their handwriting. Her quick wit and 'Mary Kayisms' always brought a laugh, especially to her with the retelling of her own faux pas. When asked her age she quipped that she was on her 2nd bottle of Tabasco. Her twinkly Irish eyes kept smiling until the end. She is survived by her brother William Mooney, her sister Margaret Sperna; 7 children, Tim (Liz Herrington), Ken, Chris (Leslie), Katie, Patty (Greg Roedler), Mick, Dan; her 12 adored grandchildren & 9 great grandchildren. The family would like to express their sincere thanks to the caregivers at the Willows at Ramsey Hill for the loving care they provided our mother and to Women Veterans Initiative for honoring her service, making her feel that her contribution mattered and making her Visible. Mary Kay's life will be celebrated on Friday, May 17th at 10 a.m at the Church of the Assumption (51 W. 7th St., St. Paul); Visitation 9-10 a.m. prior to the service. Honor burial to take place at Fort Snelling at 11:30a.m. where she will be laid to a well-deserved rest.
Published by Pioneer Press on May 12, 2019.