Mary J. Wilkinson

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Mary J. Wilkinson, 78, of Prairie du Chien, passed away Thursday, Feb. 11, at her home in Prairie du Chien. 

Mary Janet, the daughter of Edgar and Lazora (Kies) Moore, was born Dec. 6, 1937. Mary was raised on a farm near Mt. Hope, with her parents, her sister, Ardell Dressler, two special uncles, and a special aunt. She attended the Brunson Country School and graduated at thirteen years of age with one classmate. From there she attended Patch Grove High School, graduating in 1954. Mary then graduated from the Milwaukee Business Institute. She worked part time for Attorney Melvin Bonns of Bloomington.

Mary was united in marriage with her high school sweetheart, John, on June 21, 1957. The couple made their home in Prairie du Chien, where they raised a son and a daughter. Instead of a career, Mary centered her life around her family, giving and doing for them even if it meant going without herself. Mary was active in the Boy and Girl Scouts as a den mother. She helped organize the first Drum and Bugle Corps with Scout Leader Robert Dillman. Mary was a member of the Prairie du Chien United Methodist Church and taught Sunday school for a number of years. She was nominated for the C.A.R.O.L. Award sponsored by the Jaycettes. She served on the Patch Grove Alumni Reunion Committee. Mary was very active with the Women’s National Guard Group and was a strong supporter of the First Desert Storm National Guard Unit from Prairie du Chien. She worked very closely with the group and was presented recognition plaques from the local 229th National Guard Unit and the Wisconsin National Guard. She also served on election boards in Patch Grove and Prairie du Chien. 

After her parents passed away, Mary returned to the family farm to help her sister, Ardell, look after her uncles and aunt. She loved to work in the fields and also worked as a waitress in Chris Diner at Fennimore and Mt. Hope. After returning to Prairie du Chien, Mary worked for Subway for five years. Mary was devoted to her family members and was available to them day or night. 

Mary was very proud of her grandsons, Jeremy and Casey Friedlein and they were the center of her life. Her grandsons, close friends, and neighbors were very dear to her heart.

Mary became very close to the dear friends who were always there for her, Mindy Horsman, Nancy and Gary Barrette, and Rose Fischer and to the special caregivers, Penny Imbus, Becky Martin, Janet Matthews, June Looney, Judy Chunat, Carol Stripe, Theresa Gramlich, and Jen Halverson.

Mary is survived by her son, John R. Wilkinson; her daughter, Janet Friedlein; her special grandsons, Jeremy and Casey; several great grandchildren; her niece, Lois Carmody; and her cat, Bow.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Ardell Dressler; her uncles, Marty and Albert; and her aunt, Flossie.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home in Prairie du Chien. A visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until service time on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the funeral home. Interment will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, in the Hermitage Cemetery, Mt. Hope.

Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Prairie du Chien, is handling the arrangements.

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