Mary Ann Swieciak (nee Sullivan), age 98, passed to eternal life with our Lord on October 11, 2023 in her home in Fortville, Indiana, surrounded by her family, who loves her dearly.
Mary Ann was preceded in death by her husband (Michael Swieciak), parents (Michael Sullivan and Mary Lucy Wasicek Sullivan), and siblings (Honorable Michael T. Sullivan, Gerald Sullivan and Joan Sullivan Schramm).
Mary Ann is survived by her loving daughters Mary Thorsen (husband Ken and daughter Patti), Janis Hamilton (husband Mark and daughter Jamie), Jeannie Stockton (husband Joey) and Joanne Mack, along with her grandchildren (Kristin Stockton, Michael Stockton, and Katharine Mack) and nieces, nephews, friends and relatives.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mary Ann attended St. Patrick’s Catholic School and graduated from Mercy High School, both on the south side of Milwaukee. She met, fell in love with and married fellow south-sider Michael Swieciak, who went on to play basketball for and graduate from Marquette University. Mary Ann was also an outstanding athlete, playing left field for an elite fastpitch softball club in Milwaukee in the 1940’s. The couple often played basketball and softball together while they dated and throughout their marriage. They shared their love of athletics with their four daughters, who they raised in West Allis. The family was very tight knit and could often be seen practicing softball together in McCarty Park. Mike pitched, Mary Ann played first base, and the girls covered the infield and outfield.
Mary Ann enjoyed the simplicity of daily life. She was a great cook who provided a delicious supper at 5 pm for the entire family while we were growing up. She was an outstanding seamstress (sewing many of her girls’ dresses along with our bedspreads and curtains using her own patterns), and tended her gardens with care and joy. In her later years she cherished the time she was able to spend with her beloved grandchildren, going to parks and playgrounds, attending athletic events, and sharing stories and meals together.
She was also a pioneer with an adventurous spirit. She worked for twelve years as a yard clerk for the Milwaukee Road Railroad alongside her father, whom she adored. This was an outdoor job which few if any women undertook. To keep warm during the cold Milwaukee winters, she took breaks huddling by the potbelly stove in the tiny shack which served as her office. She traveled extensively with family and friends, with many trips to all corners of the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean and Australia.
Mary Ann’s faith and devotion to the Catholic Church provided the foundation for the beautiful life she led. Her faith and unconditional love are two of the most precious gifts she passes on as a legacy to her family as she rests in peace with the Lord.
Family and friends are invited to join in Mary Ann’s Funeral Mass on October 20, 2023 at Saint John Vianney Catholic Church in Fishers, Indiana, with Visitation at 10:30 a.m. and the Mass at 11:00 a.m., and her Graveside Ceremony at St. Adalbert’s cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 11:00 a.m. on October 24, 2023. A meal celebrating Mary Ann’s life will immediately follow the Milwaukee graveside service.
In remembrance of Mary Ann’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, where Mary Ann’s aunt, Ariel Sullivan, served as a Sister for many years.