Mary Van Lanen, age 93 of Kaukauna, passed away peacefully at her home on November 23, 2021, surrounded by her family. Mary was born in Kaukauna on June 14, 1928, daughter of the late Harry and Christine (Vanden Heuvel) Verhagen. She married Eugene Van Lanen on May 28, 1955, and Gene passed in 1996.
Mary was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church and lived in Kaukauna her entire life. In her early years, Mary worked for the Social Services Department of Outagamie County, and later achieved her associate degree as a teachers’ aide. She then become an aide at Pied Piper. Later in life she assisted a wonderful group of people at the Monte Alverno Retreat House after retreats were held.
However, Mary’s most cherished title was mother and grandmother. Mom was a devoted wife and mother to her family who loved kids and enjoyed all the time she could participating in her grandchildren’s lives, from school events to birthday parties. She enjoyed playing cards with everyone, trips to the cottage, and watching the Packers and Brewers. As well as hearing stories of the many hunting and fishing trips the guys had. Mom loved visiting with family and friends. The unwritten rule was, “if you stop in to say ‘hi’, you never left before you had a cup of coffee and something to eat.” All were welcome in her home.
She is survived by her loving children: Donna (Randy) Diedrich, Daniel (Bonnie) Van Lanen, Paul (Sue) Van Lanen, and Mary (Greg) Van Dyke. Her grandchildren are Emily (Troy) Wendt, Mark Diedrich, Rebecca (Aaron) Janssen, Charles (Kaitlyn) Diedrich, Eugene (Michelle) Van Lanen, Shannon (Phil) Ver Boomen, Jered (Kayla) Van Lanen, Amy Van Dyke, Lance Van Dyke, Kristen Van Dyke, Daniel Van Dyke, Erika Theobald, Kaylee (Matt) Crawford, and Nathaniel Trickett, There are also nineteen great-grandchildren with one on the way, two sisters-in-law: Vivian Schaefer and Theresa Verhagen, and many nieces and nephews.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Gene, and siblings: Joseph (infant), Joe, Ruth (Ervin) Rosin, Earl, Leone (Fritz) Vande Hey, Richard (Blanche), Mark (Irene), and Paul; Gene’s parents: Albert and Delia Van Lanen, and his siblings Richard (Mary), Dolores Feldkamp, Moe, and a brother-in-law Jack Schaefer.
The Funeral Liturgy for Mary will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, December 4, 2021, at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 309 Desnoyer Street in Kaukauna with Fr. Donald Everts officiating. Entombment will take place in Highland Memorial Park. Family and friends are invited to gather at the church on Saturday from 11:00 AM until the time of the service.
Mom and grandma: You left us beautiful memories. Your smile, bright eyes, wit, and loving heart will truly be missed. Your love and unending faith will always be our guide and inspiration. You have lived your life to meet Jesus and now we know you are at peace in his loving arms. You always said, “it will be a beautiful reunion in heaven” when you join dad and your family in heaven. We know you are there with them now. Know that we are rejoicing with you as you rejoice in everlasting life.
The family would like to thank ThedaCare Hospice for their support, with special thanks to her most recent caregivers, Amber, Ida, and Shannon. We will never forget your kindness.