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Monica Josephine (Mahan) Schany
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Obituary for Monica Josephine (Mahan) Schany

Monica Josephine Schany (Mahan), age 93, of Green Bay passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 30, 2017. Monica was born in a farmhouse in Mallard, Iowa on March 19, 1924 to the late Miles and Bessie (Forey) Mahan. She attended school near Ayrshire, Iowa. Monica graduated as the the salutatorian of her 1942 Mallard High School class.

Following high school Monica worked at the “10 Cent Store” in Emmetsburg and was a clerk in a local grocery store in Ayrshire, Iowa. In 1945 Monica took her mother’s advice to take the civil service exam. She passed the test and moved to Washington D.C. There she worked as a file secretary in the Pentagon. On the weekends she worked at a local dress store. This is probably where she gained her keen eye for fashion that would last a lifetime. Monica returned home later 1946 where she worked as a bookkeeper at “Brennan Electric” until 1949.

On June 6, 1949 Monica married William P. Schany at St. Thomas Church in Emmetsburg, Iowa. They moved to a farm in Graettinger, Iowa to begin their married life. Then in March of 1954, they moved their family to a farm near West Bend, Iowa. During their marriage they were blessed with nine children. Both Monica and Bill were hard workers and they taught their children to be the same way.

Monica was good about managing her home and her finances. She always planted a big garden each summer. She kept the freezer full of homemade vegetable soup, doughnuts, cookies and a pantry full of canned vegetables. She spent a lot of time in the kitchen making big meals for her family and hired hands. She would even make 50 pie crusts at a time so that she could make a pie in a moments notice. She canned vegetables and would create an assembly line approach for freezing vegetables or making “Santa” cookies. Everyone had a job to do. Having lived during the “Great Depression” Monica was good about not wasting much. She would take pieces of fabric to repair work jeans, or even sew shorts out of old feed bags that later would be considered the “one size fits all” shorts. Monica built her life around family and farming, but eventually the marriage ended in divorce.

While living in West Bend Monica was a member of the local Drama Club and continued to renew her membership each year to Catholic Daughter’s of America. She was also affiliated with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. She celebrated her “Silver Jubilee” in 1984. She was a prayer affiliate and demonstrated a commitment to prayer and community. Monica volunteered her time for many ministry outreach opportunities. She also offered her time and talents as a scheduler for the local Palo Alto County Hospital snack bar. She served as a member for the hospital auxiliary for six years and delivered “Meals on Wheels” for nine years. She would oftentimes bring her two youngest daughters with her when delivering meals to help them see the good in community service and to teach kindness to the elderly and those in need. She was known to bring homemade cookies to local families who were in need of a little happiness.

Monica’s hobbies included walking daily, embroidering many quilt blocks which were later made into quilts for her children and most of her grandchildren; until her eyesight deteriorated because of macular degeneration. She also loved to read and was a strong believer in education. She encouraged all of her children to get their education. She would often say, “No one can ever take away your education”.

For many years Monica enjoyed attending daily mass at St. Peter & Paul’s Catholic Church in West Bend. As time went by and her children moved away Monica enjoyed being a greeter at the back of the church for the local tourist attraction, “Grotto of Redemption”.

Monica was very proud of her 100% Irish roots. She was able to travel to Ireland and many places around the world such as the Holy Lands, Italy, Greece, Rome, Australia, Alaska, Canada and Hawaii. No matter where Monica went she always had a rosary in her pocket. She had a strong deep faith and would pray the rosary multiple times throughout the day.

Monica eventually moved to DePere, Wisconsin in 2000 to be closer to her daughter for health reasons. After her move she soon started to volunteer her time at
St. Norbert’s College. She also served as a eucharistic minister at local nursing homes for five years. While living in her own apartment she started Rummikub and Domino groups and organized a daily rosary prayer group. She eventually moved to Odd Fellows Nursing Care Facility in Green Bay. It was well known by the nurses that Saturday night was Monica’s favorite because it was “Lawrence Welk Night”.

Monica is survived by her children: Anne Marie (Dick) Nelson, Emmetsburg, Iowa; Chuck (Therese) Schany, Spencer, Iowa; Colleen (Jim) Stanley, Golden, Colorado; Gary (Kristy) Curlew, Iowa; Geralyn (Richard) Lannon, Braintree, Massachusetts; and Gerene (Brett) Thom, DePere, Wisconsin and daughter-in-law Patty Schany, Ruthven, Iowa. Monica is further survived by 24 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her baby daughter, Mary. Her sons, John(18) and William(56), who were both taken too soon from car accidents, her parents Miles(Mahan) and Bessie(Forey), her sister Margaret (Mahan) Goetz and her five brothers and grandson, Matthew.

A special thank you to the doctors who cared for Monica over the years. Dr. David Spika, who guided her with compassion and humor through the aging process. Dr. Jeffrey Heier from Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston who performed a very successful eye surgery. Dr. Percovich and Dr. Wang who monitored to preserve her eyesight. To all the great nurses, LPN’s and CNA’s and activity directors and staff at Odd Fellows Nursing Home who demonstrated extra patience, humor and understanding to her care for many years. Their kindness and friendship will be remembered.

A private Memorial Mass will be held at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in West Bend, Iowa. A Christian Burial will take place at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Emmetsburg, Iowa following the mass. Please go to www.ryanfh.com to send online condolences to the family.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to CERE (Center for Eye Research and Education) in Boston, MA. www.cere-foundation.org or call (781) 487-2200 ext. 3391 so others will have a chance to improve their eyesight.

"I have traveled the world. The only thing left on my bucket list is to see heaven."


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