Mary Ann Kleinheinz

Mary Kleinheinz Obit Photo

NEW GLARUS, Wis. — Mary Ann Kleinheinz, 90, died peacefully in her sleep on April 1, 2022 in New Glarus, Wisconsin. She was born Mary Ann Debord on May 28, 1931 in Hopkins County Texas, the fourth of seven children born to Lawrence and Gladys Debord.

Mary grew up on a modest farm near Sulphur Springs, Texas. Her mother grew much of their food in a large garden – a tradition Mary continued well into her 70’s and passed on to some of her children. After graduating from Sulphur Springs High School, she moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where she met her husband, Carl, who was stationed at Carswell Air Force Base. They married in 1949 in Fort Worth, where she continued to live with their first daughter while Carl served two years in Japan. Upon his return, they moved to Aurora, then settled in Madison, Wisconsin to raise their family. In 1997, they moved to New Glarus, WI. Mary was proud of her real estate career – her chance to spread her wings as her children got older. She was successful not only in sales, but also teaching classes to prospective agents, building and selling spec houses, and developing the land that became Hawk Ridge, where she and Carl built their dream home.

She was a productive volunteer, active in her church and neighborhood in her earlier years, then later spent hundreds of hours crocheting newborn baby caps and prayer shawls for St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. She loved crafting projects, from sewing to embroidery and needlepoint. She was proud to create handmade Christmas ornaments each year for her entire family. Every new addition to the family was gifted some lovingly-made item.

Family was everything to Mary, in life and in death. She shared countless hours with her children and grandchildren as the family grew. She and Carl built their home in the country — designed specifically to accommodate large family gatherings. A holiday celebration with just immediate family could include 30-40 people. Her health declined quickly in her last days, but allowed just enough time to connect individually with her children and grandchildren to share loving memories and warm goodbyes. All phases of her life were family centered.

She is survived by her husband of 72 years, Carl; their 7 children: Donna Geiger of Theresa, WI, Dennis (Rhonda) Kleinheinz of Madison, WI, Tom (Roxi) Kleinheinz of Belleville, WI, Carla (Greg McNaughton) Berg of Madison, WI, Joan (Steve) Quinn of McFarland, WI, Ken (Joanie) Kleinheinz of Cedar Rapids, IA, and Janet Sather of Eagle River, WI; 19 grandchildren and 4 step-grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; 6 great-great-grandchildren, along with their partners and spouses; sisters Rose Jean Smith of Norman, Oklahoma and Doris Fennell of Fort Worth Texas, and brother Chester (Faye) Debord of Wolf City, TX.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence and Gladys Debord, brothers Rudolph and Dalby Debord, sister Bessie Maude Goldsmith, sons-in-law Jerry Geiger and Tom Sather, and grandson Shannon Beattie.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 338 S. Harrison St., Belleville, WI with Rev. Mark Miller officiating. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery, Madison, WI. A visitation will precede the mass from 10:00 a.m. until time of services on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Belleville.

The Becker-Beal Funeral Home of Belleville is assisting the family. Many thanks to the Monroe Clinic Hospital, Monroe Clinic Hospice and New Glarus Home for making Mary comfortable in her final days.

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