Mary Jane (Bevers) Van Lieshout joined our heavenly Father peacefully at the age of 95 on January 28 at Island Shores. She was born to the late William and Grace (Jourdain) Bevers on February 28, 1927 in Neenah, Wisconsin.
Mary Jane grew up in Menasha and attended St. Patrick’s Grade School and Menasha High School. She went to Rosary College in River Forest, IL for two years, and then University of Wisconsin-Madison graduating with a B.S. in Economics. As a proud alumnus of UW-Madison, she loved her Badgers! Mary Jane started her career at Marathon Paper Company in Neenah, where she met her husband Joseph, and they married on May 26, 1951. She only lived outside of the Twin Cities for a brief stint in New York in the 1950s.
Tennis was a big part of Mary Jane’s life, playing well into her 80’s. She became the Wisconsin State Singles Champion at age 18 in 1945 and was inducted into the Fox Valley Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006. She shared her passion for tennis with her children, who followed in her footsteps. It was a joy of hers to watch her children and many grandchildren compete in the game she loved.
Mary Jane enjoyed spending time with her family at their Waupaca cottage, baking cookies, taking walks and attending her children’s and grandchildren’s many activities. She was an avid reader, crossword puzzler, bridge player and loved to knit – making Christmas stockings and her famous patchwork afghans for all her children and grand-children.
Giving back was important. Mary Jane volunteered her time at the VNA, Theda Clark Hospital Auxiliary, Menasha Historical Society, Red Cross Blood Drives, The Racquet Club, Catholic Daughters and with her daughters’ Girl Scout Troops.
Mary Jane was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph and her son William. She is survived by children: Joan (Jack) Ewig Mequon, daughter-in law Sandra Oshkosh, Thomas (Mary) Neenah, James (Mary) Neenah, and Barbara (Richard) Rueth Wheaton, IL; grandchildren: Elizabeth (Matthew) Howard, Thomas Ewig (Chelsea), Matthew Van Lieshout (Melanie), Marjorie (Matthew) Messinger, Peter Van Lieshout (Eileen), Michael Van Lieshout (Lauren), Joseph Van Lieshout (Sarah), Kathryn (Adam) Hinkelman , Kevin Van Lieshout (fiancé Tash), Molly Rueth and Joseph (Jack) Rueth. Mary Jane was blessed with 17 great grandchildren. She is also survived by sister-in-law Theresa Smaxwell Livermore, brother-in-law Thomas (Betty) Van Lieshout, special friend of 93 years, Bettie Hill and many other relatives and friends.
A Funeral Service for Mary Jane will be held at 11:00am, on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 324 Nicolet Blvd., Menasha. The Visitation will be from 9:00am in the church vestibule until the time of the Mass. Mary Jane will be laid to rest at St. Margaret Cemetery, Neenah. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Pancreatic Action Network (https://pancan.org/) and the Visiting Nurses Association (https://www.valleyvna.org/donate/).
The family wishes to thank the dedicated care givers and nursing team at Island Shores for their wonderful care for Mary Jane over the past nine and one-half years and especially over the last few months. They would also like to acknowledge the Theda Care Hospice team.