Mary Clare (Smith) VonRotz, died peacefully in her Winlock home on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, at the age of 95.
Mary was born Nov. 13, 1925 in Helix, OR. Her parents and their five children moved by wagon to the Napavine area when Mary was a young child. Times were difficult for the Smith family through the Great Depression. Mary prevailed and graduated from Napavine High School with the class of 1940.
She had met the love of her life, Herman VonRotz, in school, but he joined the Army Air Force after he graduated from high school. Mary moved to Portland, OR, where she worked as a receptionist for three years until Herman returned from the war.
Herman and Mary were married on Jan. 12, 1946, at St. Urban Catholic Church in Winlock and celebrated 60 years of marriage before his death in 2006.
Mary and Herman established their home in the St. Urban area and never moved. She and Herman were very active at St. Urban Catholic Church and, later, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Winlock. Mary played the organ at Mass and Herman was a sacristan, server and eucharistic minister. Mary enjoyed hosting social events at both churches and was known for her hospitality, and her quiet, gentle and loving nature.
Mary is survived by her five children: Anna O'Shea of Sacramento, CA; Jean (Mike) Oakland of Olympia; Joann Sanchez of Winlock; John (Linda) VonRotz of Port Orchard; and Dave (Beth) VonRotz of Centralia. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
A Rosary will be prayed at 10:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Toledo. A reception will follow in the church hall. Burial will be at St. Urban Cemetery beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Services are under the arrangement of Cattermole Funeral Home in Winlock.