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Mary Ann Cahill


1927 - 2014 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Mary Ann Cahill Obituary
Cahill, Mary Ann Age 87, of McHenry, passed away peacefully Sunday, October 26, 2014. She was born in Chicago on June 10, 1927, the daughter of John William and Olivia (Spoerlein) Phalen. She married the late Charles "Chuck" Cahill on June 5, 1948 in Chicago, IL. Chuck and Mary Ann built their dream home - one big enough for all the kids, in Libertyville, IL. For the last 25 years she lived in McHenry in a home built on land she and Chuck purchased as a young couple as an investment for their future. Mary Ann's life was defined by family, her Catholic Faith, particularly the Church's Social gospel, a lively intelligence that kept her involved with the world until the day she died, and the cause of her life, La Leche League. She was one of the founders in 1956 of the League, which grew from a group of seven mothers in Franklin Park, IL to a world wide organization dedicated to "Good Mothering Through Breastfeeding". Mary Ann wrote the first manual for the League after the women decided they could no longer keep up with the demand for information by writing individual letters back to the many mothers asking for help. She was the author of "Seven Voices, One Dream," an oral history of the League in the words of the founders, "The Heart Has Its Own Reasons," mothering wisdom for the 1980's, and numerous articles. She was an emeritus member of the Board. Mary Ann lived her faith, which showed in her daily Mass attendance and her personal, active commitment to making the world a better place, a commitment she passed on to her children and grandchildren. She embraced the special charism of the laity from Vatican II. She and Chuck were leaders in the Christian Family Movement at St. Joseph's in Libertyville, and she helped establish the St. Vincent De Paul Society at the Church of Holy Apostles in McHenry. On September 14, 2014 she was recognized as A Catholic Woman of Inspiration by the McHenry Deanery Council of Catholic Women. Mary Ann is survived by a very special sister-in-law, Ann Phalen, and her children, Robert (Julie) Cahill, Elizabeth (Jerry) Rickert, Timothy Cahill, Teresa (Dean) Braun, Mary (Bob) Sislow, Joseph (Martha) Cahill, Margaret (Dennis) Fisk, Charlene "Charlie" (Bob) DeVries, Frances Cahill and Janet Buhrman (Rich Osnoss), who lived with the family during her elementary years and has been at the family table ever since. Mary Ann had 20 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; her two brothers, Francis and William; and her husband, Chuck, on May 25, 1978. The visitation will be held Friday, October 31, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Colonial Funeral Home and Crematory, 591 Ridgeview Dr., McHenry, IL 60050. The visitation will continue Saturday, November 1, 2014 at the Church of Holy Apostles from 10:00 a.m. until the 11:00 a.m. Funeral Mass. Interment will be private. If desired, memorials may be made to La Leche League or the Saint Vincent DePaul Society at Church of Holy Apostles. For info contact funeral home at 815-385-0063 or log onto www.colonialmchenry.com.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Oct. 30, 2014
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