Mary B. Sterchi

Posted 12/7/23

MENDOTA – Mary B. Sterchi, 93, of Mendota, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, December 4, 2023, surrounded by her loving family.

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Mary B. Sterchi


MENDOTA – Mary B. Sterchi, 93, of Mendota, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, December 4, 2023, surrounded by her loving family.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 11, 2023, at Holy Cross Church, Mendota with Father Jeffrey Windy officiating. Burial will be at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens, LaSalle. Visitation will be held Monday from 9:30-11 a.m. at Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota.

Fondly known as Mimi, Gramma Mimi and Auntie Mimi, Mary was born in Oglesby on April 10, 1930, to the late Stanley and Barbara Ann (Hrovat) Sitar.

She is survived by her two daughters, Dawn Ann Bauer of LaMoille and Lisa (Tim Engels) Avery of Mendota; two sons, Steven (Ruth Ann) Sterchi and Donald “Sonny” (Karen) Sterchi, both of Mendota; four grandchildren, Matthew (Mandi) Bauer of Mendota, Jonathan (Lauren) Bauer of Yorkville, Emily (Eric) Korsan of Oglesby and Scott (Jeni) Sterchi of Serena; three step-grandchildren, Danny (Tania) Walzer, Andy Walzer and Brian Walzer; great-grandchildren, Landon, Paxton, Gabrielle, Madilyn, Olivia, Allie, Sydnee, Shelby, Jack, Leona and Sloane; step-great-grandchildren, Collin, Chloe, Carson, Ella, Anna and Reid Walzer; several nieces and nephews and her dear friends, Lorraine Etheridge and Martha Bianco.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Donald on April 13, 2023; a dear brother Milton in infancy; her dear son-in-law Rick Bauer; dear nieces Renee Barzititus and Dr. Kathleen Senica-Farris and Peggy Schultz; sisters and brothers-in-law Dorothy and John Senica, Sr., Betty and Sam Torchia and Donna Kain; and step-grandson Tim Walzer.

She attended LaSalle-Peru High School. Mary then began her working career as a telephone operator with Bell Telephone Company. She met her sweetheart while on a blind date, and on Sept. 24, 1955, they exchanged marriage vows at Holy Family Church, Oglesby, celebrating 67 years of marriage. The following year, on Nov. 21, 1956, they were blessed on the birth of their daughter Dawn Ann Bauer and later followed by Steven Stanley, Lisa Mary and Donald “Sonny” William Sterchi. Mimi enjoyed being a housewife and a loving, caring and nurturing mother. It was during these years she enjoyed attending her children’s music activities, attending her daughters acrobatic or ballet lessons, along with listening to music, singing, and could whistle any tune when called upon. She was a wonderful cook and baker and always enjoyed creative writing, which led her to be known as the “card lady,” which continued throughout her entire life until the age of 93; writing letters and cards to her family extended family and friends helping to lift their spirits or wishing them joy and happiness on special occasions or holidays.

She lived her life close to Christ, sharing, and expressing her knowledge, wisdom, love and caring ways. She was extremely proud of her Slovenian heritage. She especially loved animals. Throughout her life she cared lovingly for her many pets, from parakeets, cockatiels to cats and dogs. When her children were all in school, she returned to the workforce and was employed for 22 years as a dietary aide at Sunrise Nursing Home and then Heritage Manor. She also volunteered as a CCD teaching aide with the Bloodmobile and Abigail’s Clinic. She was a lifelong member of Holy Cross Church.

The family would like to thank the wonderful and caring medical, nursing and ancillary departments of OSF St. Mary’s Medical Center of Galesburg and VITAS Hospice staff for all their loving care and kindness shown to our dear, sweet mother.

Memorials may be directed to Holy Cross Church, Illinois Valley Animal Rescue or VITAS. Online condolences may be left at

lahko noc Mom.