Mary Ann Finnegan, 1937 – 2017

Funeral services were held Wednesday, April 5, at St Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson for Mary Ann Finnegan, 79, of Chicago, IL, formerly of Jefferson.

The Rev Jeff Schleisman was celebrant. Readers were Marcia Katter, Kathy Kramer and Patrick Pierret. Gift bearers were Emilie Katter, Morgan De Boest, Katie Allen and Daniel Muskin-Pierret. Mike Pierret gave the eulogy. Amy Roberts was soloist accompanied by Lois Last.

Casket bearers were Charles Pierret, Steve Pierret, James Pierret, Peter Pierret, Brian Pierret and Dan De Boest. Interment was at the St Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Jefferson.

Mary Ann Finnegan, 79, of Chicago, by way of Jefferson, died on April 1, 2017, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. 

Mary Ann was born in Jefferson, on Sept. 7, 1937, and was a proud member of the Jefferson High School class of 1954. She began her career at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School in 1959. After years of hard work and dedication she retired as director of personnel in 1992. Her professionalism and rock-solid reliability made her beloved by all she worked for and all who worked for her. 

Mary Ann enjoyed trips throughout the USA and all seven continents with her sister Rita, her friend Alice, her mother Ella, and other members of her family. Her pictures of African safaris, Alaskan cruises and the wonders of China were a source of pleasure to her family.  During her career and especially after retirement, she was an active volunteer at her parish where her organizational skills were always put to good use.   

Although Mary Ann became a devoted Chicagoan, she never cut her ties with Jefferson. She and her sister made quarterly trips back to Iowa while their parents were alive; she rarely missed a high school reunion and for many years served as one of the organizers of the event.

For all her career success, extensive travel, volunteer activities and parish work, Mary Ann’s true priority was her family. She served as chief babysitter, reunion planner, holiday hostess and well-wisher to two generations of DeBoest and Pierret children. She was the dedicated chauffeur for her mother, sister, nieces and nephews on countless family trips. She also spent many hours on family history and photo documentation for her Finnegan relatives. No request for help was too large for Mary Ann. The one and only consolation for her long and inspiring struggle with Parkinson’s was the opportunity to give back to her a small measure of the kindness she lavished for so many years on her family.   

Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents Roger and Ella Finnegan of Jefferson; her sister Rita Finnegan, of Chicago; and her brother-in-law James Pierret of Muskogee, OK. 

She is survived by her sisters Joan Pierret, of Muskogee and Jean DeBoest of West Des Moines; her brother-in-law Joe DeBoest, of West Des Moines; and her dearest friend Alice B. Long, fellow Iowan and Chicago transplant.  Finally, she is survived by one niece, eight nephews, their spouses and their 25 children who will miss her greatly.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s or the Rita M. Finnegan Scholarship Fund at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School.


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