Mary Ann (Wolf) Rader, 84, of Sparta, passed away Sunday, June 14, 2020, at her home.
She was born on September 15, 1935, in her home in Chicago, Ill., to Edward Joseph Wolf and Anna Jane (Horak) Wolf; Mary Ann was the youngest of three children. In 1948, Mary Ann and her family moved to Chico, Calif., where she graduated from Red Bluff Union High School in June of 1953. After graduation, she worked in peach and plum orchards and also at the Diamond Match Company. In the summer of 1954, while vacationing in Chicago and visiting with her brother Bob, she met his co-workers, Jim Rader and Jimmy Johnson. Two years later while vacationing in Chicago she happened to call Jim to see how he was and what he was up to and ….as they say, the rest is history. They had a whirlwind courtship and were married in Chicago on July 14, 1956. To this union two children were born: Marjorie “Margie” in 1958 and Robert “Bob” in 1964. In 1971, the family left Millburn, Ill., and moved to Sparta as Jim accepted a position at Fort McCoy. This is when they bought their house on Benton Street. Mary Ann was a homemaker and wonderful cook and baker. Once the kids were well into school she worked for State Farm Insurance in Sparta and occasionally at Janusheske’s Antique Shop. She volunteered at Morrow Home for almost 20 years and also worked at the Ecumenical Food Pantry since its inception, retiring from it just a few years ago. Being with her family and friends brought her great joy. She was most happy cooking for family and friends and planning get togethers. Many good meals and luncheons were shared around her dining or kitchen tables or on her lovely screened in porch. Did we mention that her pies, cinnamon rolls, and ginger snaps were to die for?! She loved to go for car rides with Jim in the country or on car club tours throughout the United States and Canada. Many weekends were spent at car shows talking with other car enthusiasts. Other passions were working in her garden, reading, watching Downton Abbey, PBS mysteries, and Antiques Roadshow. Most days you would see her walking to the Post Office or Library just to get some fresh air. She always said, if you don’t use it (your legs) you will lose it.
Mary Ann was preceded in death by her husband, James “Jim” in 2004; her parents; her two brothers, Edward and Robert; sister-in-law Norma; uncle, Pat and aunt, Reba Owen; in-laws, Gordon and Marge Johnson; brother-in-law, William Rader; and close friends, Ed “Red” and Mary Lou Tarnowske, Heidi Trombley, Leone Lahm, Linda Wilson, and the wonderful ladies from her prayer group.
Those surviving Mary Ann are her children and their spouses, Bob and Lynn Rader, Margie and Kevin Lakowske; her grandchildren, Areanna Lakowske, and Dustin and Teresa Lakowske; great grandchildren, Kiralynn, Kellen and Kalvin Lakowske; sister-in-law, Doreen Wolf; and nieces and nephews, Keith and Lisa Mason and family, Gail Stout and family, Gary Wolf, Terry and Ed Stroup, John Wolf, Barbara and Howard Fredrickson, Charles and Kelly Wolf all of Calif., Steven and Rhoni Rader, and Rick and Lucy Brown of Ohio. This list would not be complete without mentioning her dear friends, Floyd Trombley and his amazing girls (Liz, Pam and Christina) and their families, Cricket and Ryan Shima, Jim and Emma Vogt, Dennis and Sandy Janusheske, Pat Rentschler, Jim Lahm and Mary Lahm, Jim and Sue Brownell, Ardel Lakowske, and Vicki and Nick Wener; and all of her dear friends and neighbors.
Mary Ann left us after a brief battle with cancer. Our thanks to Dr. Devine, the wonderful Mayo Hospice Team, Father Eric Berns, and our dear friend Priscilla Hemmersbach for her assistance and guidance and care these past few weeks. Her kind and generous spirit will be missed.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be a private Mass of Christian Burial. A public visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m., until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, June 18, 2020, at Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta. Social Distancing will be observed. Memorials may be given to the Sparta Free Library or Sparta Area Cancer Society in Mary Ann’s name.
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