Obituary of Mary Catherine Stehr
Mary Stehr was born in 1918 in Stone Harbor NJ, weighing only three pounds. The entire town was hot and humid that August, providing a natural incubator for the little baby girl. This record heat is still mentioned in weather reports, as the records still hold!
When she was only five months old, her father, John Wesley Herbert, died of the Spanish Flu, the world's first pandemic. He was only 29. Her mother, Daisy, decided to move her little family (mom has an older sister, Beatrice) up to Philadelphia to live with her own mother. When Mary was two years old, her mother married James Boyle and they established their home on Madison Street in Kensington. Growing up, Mary attended St. Joan of Arc grade school and then Mastbaum High School.
After high school, she worked at the Whitman's Candy Factory on Race Street in Philadelphia. She remained friends with the girls she worked with there all her life. (I always think of Lucy and Ethel working on the assembly line at the chocolate factory!) Mary worked with the cherry cordials, but she can still identify the type of candy inside based on the shape and markings on the top of the chocolate. We buy her a Whitman's sampler every Christmas!
In the late 1930's, Mary met a young man named Tom while roller skating in a local skating rink. Roller skating was very popular at that time and Tom was a good dancer on those roller skates. Long story short, they married in 1941!
During World War II, many women went to work and Mary was no exception. She worked at the Post Office at 30th Street in Philadelphia, sorting mail. She learned a lot about the street locations and neighborhoods in the city and could probably still tell you where each postal zone is located. This was before zip codes.
Mary and her husband Tom had four children. Her first son, Tom, was born in 1942; then Dennis was born in 1947, and then she had twins, a boy and a girl, John and Kathleen in 1950. The family lived on Clearfield street, across from the McPherson Square branch of the Philadelphia Public Library system. All of the children played in the park after school and ran home for dinner when they heard their Dad's whistle! They could hear his whistle a block away!
As the kids were growing up, Mary worked for the RCA Service Company. She handled payroll, accounts receivable and also dispatch for service. This was back when TVs were very big and had to be repaired in your home. She learned everything on the job! Not too many mothers worked back then. Mary was ahead of her time!
When retirement came, Mary and Tom bought a little house in North Cape May, sold the house in Kensington and moved to "the shore." Unfortunately, Tom passed away soon after he retired. Mary was very capable and independent and so she stayed in North Cape May. She was very active in her church, St. John of God, on Townbank Road. She worked at Bingo and later played there. She crocheted little sweaters, caps and booties for the Christ Child Society. She made rosaries with the ladies of the Altar and Rosary Society. She helped to run the annual Penny Party for the church along side her good friend, Betty Discepola. And, of course, she attended mass every Saturday evening. She also liked to go to Atlantic City on the Casino Bus, once or twice a month. In other words, she had enjoyed a busy, active life after retirement.
She is predeceased by her husband, Thomas (1979), and brother Anthony Boyle. Mary is survived by her children Thomas (MaryAnne) Stehr, Dennis (JoAnn) Stehr, John (Sheila) Stehr, and Kathleen (Jerry) Adams, 5 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and sister Beatrice West. Mass of Christian Burial for Mary will be held at the St. John of God Church, 680 Townbank Rd, N Cape May on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 11am; a viewing will be held at the church prior to service from 9:45am-10:45am. Interment will be held 11am on Friday, September 27, 2019 at Newtown Cemetery, 601 Newtown Yardley Rd, Newtown, PA. Memorial donations in Mary's memory can be made to Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare, 1271 Langhorne-Newtown Rd., Langhorne, PA 19047. Condolences can be shared at www.EvoyFuneralHome.com.To send flowers to the family of Mary Stehr, please visit Tribute Store
Visitation atMain Service
Final Resting Place
3218 Bayshore Road
North Cape May,NJ 08204