Mary Lou Petrie, 93, of Lake Geneva, WI passed into the presence of her Lord on March 25, 2020, at her California home, surrounded by her loving family.
The former Mary Lou Neuman was born February 9, 1927 to the late Frank and Adela (Ufer) Neuman in Lost Lake, WI. She grew up on a farm, surrounded by a loving family of 11 siblings. She came to Lake Geneva with her sister June to work as a waitress during World War II, where she soon met the love of her life, Landon Petrie, who was home on leave from the army. They were married on October 6, 1945, at Fort Bliss, in El Paso, Texas, where he was stationed. They established their home in Lake Geneva, where she became a loving mother to their six children. In retirement, Mary and Landon split their time between homes in Lake Geneva and El Segundo, California.
Early in her married life, Mary was an accomplished sales person, selling jewelry and, later, china, at popular home parties. She became a self- taught teacher, first teaching Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Bible clubs in her home for the friends of her grade school-aged children. Those clubs were soon overflowing, as her captivating Bible stories and loving reception of those children led to other opportunities, including regularly taking carloads of children to Calvary Community Church’s Awana program, where she also presented Bible stories. As her children grew, she became involved with Youth for Christ. Eventually, she led multiple evangelical adult women’s Bible studies for over forty years, one group leading to another, making life-long friends along the way, She was an active participant at the Lake Geneva Bible Chapel and, later, at Calvary Community Church. She also was a leader in the local Christian Women’s Club for many years, and a highly successful member of a women’s stock club. Perhaps the greatest tribute to her gift of teaching is that five of her six children became public school teachers, while the sixth took over the family truck business.
As a mother, her children’s lives were filled with books, music, board games, and picnics by the pond in their woods. She worked alongside her husband, Landon, on landscaping projects, planting trees and beautiful gardens. She loved the home they built together, treasuring each tree, shrub, and flower that reflected her delight in beauty. She passed that love of nature onto her children, along with her love for the Lord, the joys of hospitality, and helping those in need. Her seventeen grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren were lovingly enfolded into that family tradition. Mary and Landon traveled extensively once their children were grown, visiting countries around the world, as well as many parts of the U.S. Some of the most treasured trips included the entire extended family.
Mary was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 69 years, Landon. She is survived by three sons, Landon Jr. (Nancy Schwab) of Woodstock, IL; Bradford (Gayle Hamilton) of Cold Spring, NY; and Wayne (Cheryl Strokes) of Lake Geneva; three daughters, Catherine (Keith) Yurica of Zushi-Shi, Japan; Barbara (Joseph) Spiegelhoff of Lake Geneva; and Christine (Victor) Gallardo of El Segundo, CA; and her much loved grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is also survived by four of her sisters, Loretta Richter, June Miller, Elaine (Greg) Becker, and Maxine (Richard) Kaiser, and her brother, Ronald Neuman.
She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Leova Stapel, Lucille Fullerton, LaVerne Vockroth, Betty Giese, and a brother, Francis (Bud) Neuman.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. A private family burial will take place at North Geneva Cemetery. Derrick Funeral Home is assisting the family; condolences may be sent to Mary’s family there. In lieu of flowers or a memorial tree, please consider a memorial in Mary’s name to The Time is Now, a local charity to help those in need, a link has been provided below.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Lou (Neuman) Petrie, please visit our floral store.
The Time is Now
P.O. Box 1, Lake Geneva WI 53147