MENDOTA - Mary Rita Hochstatter, 98, of Mendota, passed away Dec. 23, 2021 at the Villa Senior Care Community, Sherman.
Mass of Christian burial will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 30 at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Peterstown with Father Peter Pilon officiating. Burial will be at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery, Peterstown. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 29 at the Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota, with a 3:15 p.m. Rosary. Visitation will also be held Thursday from 9:30 -10:30 a.m. at the funeral home.
Mary was born Nov. 5, 1923 to Timothy and Josephine (McGrath) Flaherty of Dimmick Township. She married Paul Hochstatter, son of Benjamin and Mary (Granfield), on Sept. 12, 1945 at Sacred Heart Church, Dimmick. He preceded her in death in 2019.
Survivors include four daughters, Paula (Randy) Jones and Kathy (Steve) Swan, both of Springfield, Joanne (Michael) Sadrakula of Arlington Heights and Becky (Brad) Townsend of Sorento; one son, Bob (Cathy) Hochstatter of Bartonville; 11 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and two sisters-in-law, Celeste Schmitt and Jeanne Hochstatter, both of Mendota.
She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; two brothers, Francis and Martin; and three sisters, Mary Eleanor, Lucille McNally and Sister Timothy Marie (Patricia).
Mary attended country school and was a 1941 graduate of LaSalle-Peru High School. She attended LPO Junior College for one year. Mary and Paul were lifelong farmers. Prior to her marriage, she worked in the office at Conco Engineering in Mendota. She left her job at Conco Engineering to support the effort of World War II and worked to build ships (LSTs) at the Seneca Shipyards on the Illinois River. Some of these landing ships’ tanks were used at Normandy during the D-Day invasion. She found working at the shipyards to be her most interesting job. After her marriage, she taught at a country school for two years. While raising her family, she worked various part time jobs and then attended IVCC in Oglesby to obtain her degree in Library Science. After attending IVCC, she worked at Mendota High School in the library for several years before retiring and found working at MHS to be her most enjoyable job.
Mary was a member of the Saints Peter and Paul Church Altar Society and the local Home Extension. She was an avid reader, an amazing seamstress and enjoyed crocheting and gardening. She was always first in line to help family, friends and neighbors when needed. She had an avid interest in history and was able to recall amazing details of historical events and facts, resulting in never beating her while watching Jeopardy. During her retirement, she manually researched the genealogy of the Flaherty family, tracing their roots back to emigrating from Ireland and created a large family tree book with hundreds of photos and pages of information. She and her four daughters traveled to Ireland in 1998. Mary and Paul loved to travel and visited most of the U.S. and 10 countries in Europe. In later years, they spent several months every winter in Daytona Beach.
Memorials may be directed to Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Online condolences may be left at www.merrittfh.com.