Mary Muhs Gonering, 89, entered into eternal life on February 4, 2020.
Mary was born in Sheboygan, WI, on December 18, 1930, to the late Oscar and Margaret Muhs. She enjoyed childhood with her two siblings, older brother, Donald, and younger sister, Margie. Mary attended St. Dominic Catholic Grade School and Central High School, class of 1949.
Mary met Dennis Gonering during the mortgage burning picnic at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Sheboygan, and it was love at first sight. The two were wed on April 29, 1950. They had their first son, Joseph, one year later and their second, David, the following year. While the boys were little, the family enjoyed many camping trips. Mary and Dennis were franchisees of a Dairy Queen in Stevens Point before moving back to Sheboygan in 1953. A few years later, Mary and Dennis welcomed their daughters, Monica and then Denise.
Mary and Dennis were Catholic Youth Organization leaders at Immaculate Conception Church from the mid ‘60s to the mid ‘70s. They felt honored to lead a group of sixteen CYO high schoolers on a canoe trip to the Boundary Waters. Mary also served as a troop leader for her daughters’ Girl Scout troops for many years. Mary and Dennis continued to travel and particularly enjoyed their trips to Hawaii, Las Vegas, and Silver Dollar City. Mary always enjoyed camping with her family, and on one trip to Canada, in particular, Mary won a fishing contest. She always remembered proudly the story of buying her male competitors drinks “on her fish” that evening after dinner.
In true entrepreneur character, Mary and Dennis partnered with friends, the Larsens, and opened G & L Sports Plaza in Sheboygan; Mary enjoyed working there with her husband and children for many years. Mary and Dennis moved to Phelps in the late ‘80s and then back to Sheboygan in the early ‘90s. Mary was restless with retirement and began working in the electronics department at Walmart. She loved meeting new people and chatting with them. Soon, her husband began working at Walmart with her, and they worked there together until 2010, when they moved to Green Bay.
Among many things, Mary will be remembered for her spiritedness and quick wit; she was truly one of a kind. She was remarkably patient, supportive, warmhearted, easy-going, and adventurous. She loved life and was especially devoted to her grandchildren. She was immensely grateful for life’s big and small moments. She enjoyed playing many different card games, knitting, and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, making memories that her family will cherish forever. She wanted her loved ones to know: “No one has to be sad when I pass. I’ve really had a wonderful life.”
Mary is survived by three of her children: Joseph Gonering of Sheboygan, Monica Potts of Green Bay, and Denise (Stash) Petek of Sheboygan; eight grandchildren, Andrew Gonering and Judson Gonering of Lawrence, KS, Jaclyn (Paul) Novak of Sheboygan Falls, Jeanie (Jason) Angel of Sheboygan, Cassandra (Stephen) Inman of De Pere, Dennis Gonering of Sheboygan, Ethan (Melissa) Potts of Green Bay, and Chelsie Petek (fiancé Adam Kollmann) of Sheboygan; five great-grandchildren, Kayleigh, Colton, Tommy, Parker, and Rory; her sister, Margaret Martin, of Sheboygan; her sisters-in-law, Dorothy Muhs of Kiel, Dorothy Ott of Sheboygan Falls, and Victoria Gonering of Lac du Flambeau; her brother-in-law, Francis (Karen) Gonering, of Naples, FL; and many nieces and nephews. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Dennis, with whom she was inseparable; son, David; son-in-law, Jerome Potts; brother, Donald Muhs; and parents, Oscar and Margaret Muhs.
Friends may call at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 2771 Oakwood Drive, Green Bay, from 9-11 a.m. on Monday, February 10, 2020. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m., and friends are welcome to join the family afterward for lunch at the church to celebrate Mary’s life; her wishes were to “throw a party,” so we will honor that as best we can. Inurnment at Woodlawn Cemetery will be held for the family following lunch.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staffs of Carrington Assisted Living and Heartland Hospice for the excellent care they provided to Mary.
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