On Saturday, December 7, 2019, at the age of 92, Mary Rose Blaskovich a long time Hinsdale resident and currently of Western Springs passed on to the Lord. A loving and doting aunt, lifelong faithful Catholic, and simple, unpretentious woman, she will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Mary was born to Ben and Mary Blaskovich in the family home in Hinsdale on December 21, 1926. (Her birth was never legally recorded by the county at the time, so she had to apply for a delayed record of birth at the time of her retirement!) She attended elementary school in Hinsdale, and also remembered attending a school for the blind or visually impaired in her early childhood, as she was born with visual difficulties. Upon her graduation from Hinsdale Township High School in 1945, Mary began work at Continental Insurance Company in downtown Chicago. She remained with the company for 33 years, diligently working her way up from the typing department to a supervisory position.
Although Mary never wed, she was devoted to her large extended family and was a deeply beloved aunt to her many nieces and nephews and their children. She lived with and cared for her mother until her mother’s passing in 1963. She was always there for her sister’s and brother’s children and grandchildren, and they affectionately recall the many times she would take them for treats and adventures, be it a train trip to downtown Chicago or a visit to the frozen custard stand just down the street for a cone or a Green River. When her nieces and nephews were teens, she hosted Sunday night get-togethers where the young people shared a special camaraderie with their aunt. She taught her favorite card games to several generations, including the game Tripoley, helping to make it a family institution. Mary loved all her family and most especially children; she loved to joke, play, laugh, and be silly, and she was unfailingly generous, enthusiastic, and openhearted.
Mary took early retirement at the age of 56 and filled her newfound free time with her extended family, a second career in babysitting, and dog-walking for a beloved family pet (a large husky that might better be said to have walked diminutive Mary!). She also loved to bake, and always provided cookies and brownies for countless family celebrations and holidays (and sent many of her nephews off to college with tins of homemade treats!) Mary was also famous for her creamed chicken and dumplings, and her family fondly recalls the large Hershey bar that would always be waiting in her refrigerator to be shared with visiting children. (Always a jar of carrot sticks, too, but that was much less alluring to the visiting youngster.)
She enjoyed travel and often joined her extended family on trips to Cedar Lake when her nieces and nephews were young. She particularly loved going to Las Vegas to play the slots, often with her brother Tony and his wife Fran. In later years she enjoyed traveling to visit and attend the various graduations and weddings of her great-nieces and great-nephews, in whom she took enormous pride, as well as overnight trips with her nieces.
Mary lived most of her life in the house in which she was born – a cozy little home built by her father. When it finally became too much for her to maintain her house any longer she sold it and moved to Bethlehem Woods Retirement Community, where she made many good friends and enjoyed various outings. After a few years, she was no longer able to live in an apartment by herself, and she moved in with her niece and nephew-in-law, where they lovingly took care of her in her final years. During these years she particularly enjoyed resting by the fountain at Ty Warner Park, playing cards (she played a mean game of 500), and weekend visits with her sister Blanche, during which the sisters would attend Saturday vigil Mass together.
In her final days, surrounded by nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and dear friends, Mary remained cheerful and uncomplaining; she was filled with love and gratitude for her family and took comfort in praying with them.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Tony Blaskovich (the late Frances), and her sister Blanche Duquette (the late Francis). She leaves behind many Duquette and Blaskovich nieces and nephews. A visitation will be held Wednesday, December 11, 2019, at10 AM until time of A Mass of Christian Burial at 11 AM at St John of the Cross Catholic Church, 5005 Wolf Rd, Western Springs, IL 60558. Interment will follow at Clarendon Hills Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Judes Children's Research Hospital; www.stjude.org
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