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Mary Simon Schaefer, 78, Fond du Lac

April 6, 2019 GMT

Mary Ellen (nee Schraufnagel) Simon Schaefer, 78, Fond du Lac, passed away Friday, April 5, 2019, surrounded by family at Hospice Home of Hope in Fond du Lac after a courageous battle with cancer.

Mary was born Sept. 8, 1940, in Fond du Lac, to Alfred and Bernice (nee Dolan) Schraufnagel. She grew up on the family farm in South Byron and attended grade school at St. Mary’s in Lomira. Mary graduated from St. Mary Springs High School in 1958 and received a bachelor’s degree in education from Marian College in 1962.

In 1962, Mary married Harvey Simon. Together they raised their four children, Tricia, Mark, Tim, and Pam in LeRoy. In 2005, Mary was united in marriage to Gene Schaefer. This union extended her family to include children Michael, Tom, Dan, Stan and Cynthia.

Mary considered herself a mother first and foremost. She taught second grade at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mayville for 29 years, and was passionate in her support of Catholic education. She loved her students immensely and was known for her kindness and compassion.

Mary selflessly gave of herself to others. She volunteered for the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Fond du Lac for many years. In recent years, she and her dog Scooby were certified with the Badgerland Animal Reading and Comfort Companions organization for therapy, and were active in the community in that regard. She was blessed to be an Associate of the Sisters of St. Agnes and distributed communion to the homebound and hospital patients.

Mary is survived by her four children, Tricia (Dave) Braun of Jefferson, Mark (Kelly) Simon of Beaver Dam, Tim Simon of Middleton, and Pamela (R.J.) Hinkle of Coppell Texas, and their father, Harvey Simon of Horicon. She is further survived by her stepchildren, Michael Schaefer of Fond du Lac, Tom (Bonnie) Schaefer of Fond du Lac, Dan (Cindy) Schaefer of Madison, Stan (Sharon) Schaefer of Fond du Lac, and Cynthia Schaefer (Mark Bujnowski) of Neenah; eight grandchildren, one great-grandchild, 13 step grandchildren, and 26 step great-grandchildren. Mary also leaves behind her brothers, Tom (Karen) Schraufnagel of Plover, Dan (Mary) Schraufnagel of Franklin, and George Schraufnagel of Little Chute; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Kathleen (Ken) Krueger and Rose (John) Hansen of Fond du Lac, Marlene Schaefer of Cedarburg, Geraldine Feucht of Oconto Falls, Pauline Ronning of Fond du Lac, Delores Neumeyer of Mayville, and Cathy (Curt) Rauch of LeRoy; along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband of nine years, Gene; her sister, Rose Ann in infancy; her sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Linda Schraufnagel, Erwin (Sylvia) Schaefer, Earl Schaefer, Myrtle Schaefer, Charles Schaefer, Joe Feucht, Gerald (Mary Ann) Schaefer, and Stuart Schaefer.

A visitation will be held Thursday, April 11, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Holy Family Church, 271 Fourth Street Way, in Fond du Lac. A Mass of Christian burial will follow at 6 p.m. with the Rev. Ryan Pruess presiding. A private entombment service will take place at a later date at Chapel of the Risen Christ Mausoleum in Fond du Lac.

Mary felt that flowers should be enjoyed in life, instead of being used as an expression of sympathy after death. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Mary’s name may be directed to St. Vincent de Paul Society, 303 N. Peters Ave, Fond du Lac.

The family thanks the doctors and nurses of Agnesian Healthcare who cared for Mary through her final days. They also extend a special thank you to her caring neighbors and friends, Kathy Krapfl and Mert and Bonnie Harmsen, and the staff and volunteers of Hospice Home of Hope.

Kurki-Mach Funeral Chapel & Crematory, Fond du Lac, is serving the family. Online condolences may be expressed at kurkimachfuneralchapel.com.