Mary Jane was born April 9, 1930, to Mary (nee Guerin) and Philip Van Remortel. She graduated from Nicolet High School in West DePere where she had become very active in music through band and chorus. She was a member of the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters for thirteen years, during which time she founded and directed Emmaus Retreat House is St. Louis, Missouri.
She received a B.A degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri - St. Louis and came to Appleton in 1973 where she organized and directed the Pastoral Care Department and the Volunteer Night Chaplaincy Program, whereby local clergy would be on call in the evening to minister to patients and families. She also set up the cable TV transmission of daily mass from the chapel at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
She served patients, families, and staff and worked closely with nursing Staff and physicians as a chaplain, and especially treasured her last eight years as chaplain in the ICU and CCU. She also rotated with other chaplains in being on call for nights and any emergencies.
Mary Jane provided music through voice and guitar for masses for the twenty years she was there and later recorded an album called "I Believe." She retired in 1992, but after a year of diversions became a licensed Realtor with Coldwell Banker for seven years, where she continued to serve people at a very important time in their lives. Working at St. Patrick's Bookstore on College Avenue also turned out to be a very special time in her life.
She leaves behind her sister: Dorothy Gerrits of Sister Bay and beloved nieces and nephews in DePere, Arizona, Colorado, California, and many dear friends in the Appleton area. Mary Jane was preceded in death by her parents, a brother Harold "Bud" Van Remortel sisters June Francois and Phyllis Counihan, a brothers-in-law Lloyd Gerrits, Earl Counihan, and Jack Francois, and her dear friend Lois Lambie.
The family would also like to thank all of the caregivers and staff at Care Partners Assisted Living in Neenah and St. Croix Hospice.
Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore; a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch her until - at length - she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, "There! She's gone." Gone where? Gone from my sight - that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to its place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her; and just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There! She's gone," there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "There she comes!"
And that is dying.
Final arrangements are pending at this time.