Schiller Park Resident Celebrates 90th Birthday!

| January 1, 2013
Mary Ann with her  Siblings

Mary Ann with her Siblings

Mary Ann 5 Years Old 1928

Mary Ann 5 Years Old 1928

Back Margie on Left Youngest Sister, MaryAnn on rightFront - Clara, Oldest - Francis, 2nd Oldest - Marie 3rd Oldest

Back Margie on Left Youngest Sister, MaryAnn on right
Front – Clara, Oldest – Francis, 2nd Oldest – Marie 3rd Oldest

44 Years in Schiller Park

Mary Ann Naedelen was born on January 7, 1923 to Frank and Rose Vandersnickt. Raised on a 365 acre farm in Ewing, Nebraska, her and her four sisters helped out with the chores. Mary Ann was the 2nd to the youngest and she remembers her job was to weed the garden. Although three of her sisters have passed away, her 87 Year old younger sister Margie is still living in Franklin Park.  Luckily they had a reunion in 1992 that got everyone together one last time.

After graduating high school in 1941, Mary Ann moved to Illinois in 1944 where she got her first job as a receptionist and held it for 14 years. She worked for several different companies including Olson Rug, Mars Candy, and Chicago Northwestern Railroad. “If I didn’t like a job, I’d just up and quit,” exclaimed Mary Ann. “I had no trouble finding another job.”

Her love of square dancing allowed her to meet Warren her husband who was born and raised in the Logan Square area. “He just came up to me and asked me to dance and things took off from there.” They were married in July of 1948. “We didn’t have a big wedding because Warren wasn’t Catholic.” Mary Ann said. They moved to Norridge in 1954 and raised three children; Gerald, Donald and Mary Joyce.  In August of 1969, they moved to Schiller Park. Unfortunately, in November of 1969, Mary Joyce went to Washington School one day and suddenly took ill. Her lungs filled up with fluid and before they could do anything, she died of heart failure at the age of 9 ½.  “I was devastated and wanted to move from Schiller Park, but friends encouraged us to stay.” Warren passed away in 2006.

Mary Ann was active in the community and one of three people to organize the Autumn Leaves, a senior group in Schiller Park. “I was approached to represent the seniors, so I got involved,” Mary Ann said. She also belonged to the River Grove Moose. “I did a lot in my younger days.”  Health issues now keep me at home most of the time.

Liking poetry, Mary Ann remembered a time when back in high school her English Teacher asked everyone to compose a poem about Christmas. Liking poems that rhyme, she composed a poem that got her an “A” that she still passes around. When it first came out, the women of the Moose gave everyone a copy.  She also composed a poem for the 1976 Schiller Park Bicentennial.  She’s being encouraged to write another one for the 100th anniversary in 2014.

Although she didn’t want a current picture taken of her, Mary Ann supplied a couple of her and her sisters. “I was so happy we were able to get together for a reunion. My oldest sister passed away a year later.”  Asked if there was a big party planned for her 90th, Mary Ann replied, “Not that I know of!”

Author’s note: Mary Ann was a delight to interview. She was “sharp as a whip” and recalled dates and names like it was yesterday. It was a true pleasure speaking with her. Here’s wishing you Mary Ann a wonderful 90th birthday. May you be blessed with many, many more!


Written by Mary Ann Vandersnickt (Naedelen)
October 8, 1940

Christmas is a time of the year,
With lots of Joy and plenty cheer.
When all little children, both girls and boys,
Are wishing for a lot of Santa’s toys.

For weeks and weeks before Christmas Eve,
All little children do believe;
I must be good, I must obey,
For Santa brings us what he may.

Happy thoughts run through the minds of many.
Whether they have a dollar or a penny.
For on the morning of Christmas Day,
Begins – joy, laughter, and play.

Christmas day cannot be too long,
Either for people happy or forlorn.
It only comes but once a year,
And when it comes – it comes with “Cheer.”

Category: Articles, Community News, Senior Snips

About the Author ()

Barbara is the publisher of People and Places Newspaper which she started in August of 2011. A lifelong resident of Schiller Park, she always felt it important that residents needed to be kept informed about their communities. Since newspaper coverage for Schiller Park stopped about twenty years ago, she made it a goal to bring a newspaper back to the area. She tries to include all of Leyden Township in her reporting and wants to keep true with the mission of the paper to "inform, educate and entertain."

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