STERLING – Mary Louise Sitter, 89, passed away peacefully Sept. 9, 2018, in Sterling, with family at her bedside. Her final hours were spent with family and friends who stopped by and shared memorable stories of her life’s adventures. She was definitely a bright spot in the hearts of many.
Mary was born Feb. 20, 1929, in Freeport, the daughter of Thomas E. and Florence Helen (Rickert) Flynn. She married Delmar E. “Hughie” Sitter on June 18, 1947, in Ottawa. He preceded her in death on Feb. 18, 2010. Through the years they made their home in Dixon, Franklin Grove, Rock Falls and Sterling.
Mary worked as a dietary aide at Dixon State School, and then at Singer in Rockford. After retirement, she became a grandparent in the local school system, serving more than 14 years at Franklin and Jefferson elementary schools in Sterling. She was a member of Sacred Heart Church in Sterling. She previously had been a Eucharistic minister to the shut-ins while at St. Mary Church in Sterling.
Through the years, Mary was a caring wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. The highlight of Mary’s life was her family: five children, 13 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren. She enjoyed watching them excel in sports, academic bowl competitions, Irish dancing, and all the other events that occurred in their lives.
Mary had an interest in her family’s genealogy and was proud of her Irish heritage. She made trips to Ireland to explore her history and enjoyed meeting relatives. She was proud of her family’s history during the Revolutionary War and was a member of the Rock River Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. Mary enjoyed cruises through the Panama Canal, Caribbean and Nova Scotia and other land trips with her children. She was an avid Chicago Bears fan and Newman High School football fan.
She is survived by her children, Karen (Joe) McKeown, Susan (Norma Lee Hackney) Whitemountain, Mary (Mike) Papoccia, Randy (Concha) Sitter and Robin (Steve) Clancy; 13 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.
Mary also was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Nora Bennett, and three brothers, Hughie Flynn, Kline (Casey) Flynn, and Merle Flynn.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at McDonald Funeral Home 505 First Ave., Sterling, with the rosary recited at 4 p.m. Visitation also will be from 9:15 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sterling, and the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Church, with Rev. Bruce J. Ludeke, celebrant officiating. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Sterling.
Memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to Sacred Heart Church or St. Mary Church for mass intentions, Alzheimer’s Association, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Visit mcdonaldfuneralhomes.com to send condolences.