Anne Bereza, age 93, passed away peacefully at home March 17, 2014. She was born February 17, 1921 in Wausaukee, WI – daughter of George and Mary Jamros. She grew up on a small farm and after graduation from Wausaukee High School, attended Marinette Teacher’s College. On Nov. 24, 1945 she married her sweetheart John Bereza at their hometown church – St. Augustine’s – a few days after his return from WWII service in the Pacific theatre.
They spent their first years of married life in Marinette, WI until the birth of their first child, Jeanne. John’s work as a carpenter took them to West Virginia, back to Wisconsin, and eventually to Illinois, where they settled in Five Islands Park (St. Charles township) in 1953 and remained there 60 years.
Anne was a devoted wife and mother, and talented seamstress, cook, and gardener. She sewed their children’s uniforms, curtains, and refinished and re-upholstered their furniture. She had a green thumb, grew beautiful African violets and kept a large garden – canning and freezing the harvest. She was active in Home Extension Association in Wisconsin and Illinois, including serving as president of the Kane County branch. She also assisted with her children’s 4H activities. Anne enjoyed handwork including embroidery, crocheting, knitting and needlepoint, and created some beautiful pictures – which her husband framed. She also kept busy with her church craft groups – especially “Happy Hands” at St. Patrick’s.
She was a hard worker – from her childhood – with her dad’s death when she was only 12. Besides raising her own family of four children, she was caregiver for her husband’s parents (both in wheelchairs), and later – for many years for her own mother (still in Wisconsin).
In 1995, her dream cruise in Hawaii – to celebrate Anne and John’s 50th wedding anniversary – was canceled due to a severe case of Guillain-Barre, which paralyzed her from the neck down. With many prayers, therapy and determination, she made a remarkable recovery. After her husband’s retirement, she and John spent several years traveling back and forth in their trusty Ford van to Arizona. She enjoyed travel, history, watching at their bird feeders, and solving Sudoku puzzles.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother (Ed Jamros) and her husband John (2006). She is survived by her daughters Jeanne, Marianne Bereza, Deanne (Paul) Kampikas, and son John Paul (Ellen) Bereza. She has taken her final journey and left a wonderful example of courage and faith.
A memorial mass will be held Saturday, March 22, 11 AM at St. Patrick Catholic Church 6N491 Crane Rd., St. Charles, IL 60175. Visitation will be held starting 10 AM at church, and after Mass a luncheon reception will be in Dempsey Hall at the church.
Donations in her memory may be made to St. Patrick Church Building Fund (at above address or see www.stpatrickparish.org) or to Presence Hospice, 799 S. McLean, Elgin IL 60123.
The family appreciates the care and support she received in her final weeks at Presence St. Joseph Hospital, Manor Care, and Presence Hospice (all in Elgin).
Arrangements entrusted to Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St., Elgin. For more information call the funeral home at 847-741-1128.