The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Mary E. Kuklenski


MOSINEE, Wis. - Mary E. Kuklenski, 98, formerly of Ironwood, Mich., died peacefully Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, at St. Rita Adult Family Home in Mosinee, with her loving family by her side.

The former Mary E. O'Berto was born Jan. 4, 1919, in Ironwood, daughter of the late Joseph and Maud (Hinds) O'Berto, attended St. Ambrose Grade School and graduated from St. Ambrose High School in 1937. She then worked for Dr. Maloney in Ironwood and as a linotype operator for the Ironwood Times, prior to serving stateside in the U.S Navy-Waves in California during World War II.

She was united in marriage to Frank W. Kuklenski on June 28, 1947, at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Ironwood by the late Monsignor J.B. Moriarity. Together with Frank, Mary owned and operated the Rainbow Gardens tavern in downtown Ironwood for many years up until Frank's death on Jan. 27, 1989.

Devoted to her faith, Mary attended Mass regularly at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Ironwood, where she helped with Catholic Services appeals and was a member of the St. Francis Circle. She enjoyed traveling and made a trip to Medjugore and many trips to Wausau. She kept herself busy walking, knitting, doing cross stitch, playing solitaire, working crossword puzzles and reading numerous books. Her cooking was enjoyed by many, and her chicken and rabbit feeds, smelt fries and homemade pizza were legendary. Jessa loved to make gnocchis with her. We will dearly miss her.

Surviving are a son, Paul, Sturtevant; daughter, Alice (Gene) Wenzel, Hatley; granddaughter, Jessa (Klint) Smith, Wausau; great-granddaughter, Adria Smith; loving stepgranddaughter, Jeri (Paul) Waisbrot, Liberty Township, Ohio; and stepgrandson, Bryan Wenzel, Oklahoma City.

Besides her parents and husband, Mary was preceded in death by her brother, Joseph "Bill" O'Berto, April 17, 2004; and sister, Ferol Stahovic, Nov. 28, 2007.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, Feb. 3, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation in the St. Joseph Family Room at 10 a.m., at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood, with the Rev. Robb Jurkovich, celebrant.

A flag presentation ceremony will be accorded at the church by members of the Ironwood American Legion Post 5 Honor Guard, with luncheon to follow in the parish hall.

Rite of Committal and interment will be in Riverside Cemetery, Ironwood, in the spring.

Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home Inc., Ironwood. Condolences may be expressed online at

The family wishes to thank Aspirus Hospice for their comfort and would like to extend a most sincere appreciation to the dedicated, caring staff at St. Rita Adult Family Home in Mosinee, owned by Anna Neklewicz. Not only did the amazing caregivers attend to Mary's needs with dignity, they also truly loved her as a mother. Mary reciprocated their love wholeheartedly and we know that her final years were truly joyful and meaningful. "Sleep with the angels, Mary."


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