Mary was born into this world on The Feast of the Holy Innocence, December 28, 1935 to Fred and Elizabeth Carr. She grew up in Chicago with her older brother Fred and younger sister, Dorothy. Mary attended St. Celestine grade school and Norte Dame High School for girls.
Mary married the love of her life, John Reilly, on September 8, 1962 and the two began their charmed journey together. They lived in a cozy red house in Chicago, a few blocks from her parents and started a family. Mary had two children, Sean and Mary Beth. Later, the family moved to Park Ridge, were their children grew up. After their children were married and having children of their own (six grandchildren) the “empty nesters” moved to Lake Barrington where they lived for 21 years before moving to St. Benedict’s in Lisle.
Mary and John were self-proclaimed entrepreneurial spirits starting several businesses. On a wing and a prayer, and two nickels in their pockets, Mary started an antique business in Kewaunee, Wisconsin to fund the renovation of a 100-year old Victorian home she fell in love with and convinced John to “invest” in. The business outgrew the sun porch of the old home and was moved to another dilapidated building the two lovingly restored. There was seldom a dull moment for the Reilly Family in those years.
While antiques were important to Mary, her true passion was always The Catholic Church and her unwavering faith, which she instilled by her example to her family. Mary was active in the parishes she attended throughout her life, fundraising, teaching CCD, leading marches for the unborn, and assisting women with crisis pregnancies. Later in life, when Mary lost her sight and struggled with the onset of Alzheimer’s, she shared, “As long as I can see Jesus on the cross, I’m okay.”
Mary will be dearly missed by her loving husband, her children and grandchildren, and her many close friends who were privileged to share in her 81-year life journey. We take solace, however, in knowing that she now begins her eternal journey with The Lord, our Blessed Mother, the Saints, and all her loved ones who preceded her in death. Rest easy, Mary. We’ll love you forever.
Mary Elizabeth Reilly, Beloved wife of John Reilly; loving mother of Sean (Patricia) and Mary Beth (James) Kelly; cherished grandmother of Kaitlin, the late Patrick and Lizzy Reilly and Clare, Mary and Bridget Kelly. She was preceded in death by her parents Fred and Elizabeth Carr. Visitation Sunday from 2-6 pm at Williams-Kampp Funeral Home 430 E. Roosevelt Rd., Wheaton, IL 60187. Funeral Mass Monday 11 am at Villa St. Benedict, 1920 Maple Ave., Lisle, IL 60532. Please meet at church. Interment All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines. In Lieu of Flowers please make donations to Catholic Charities at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org
To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Mary Reilly, please visit our Tribute Store.