Maryanne “Tiny” (Gradinjan) Wagner,
At the age of 86, she went peacefully into the welcoming arms of the Lord on February 27, 2020. Maryanne is survived by her ten children – Mark, Karen Schuh (Wayne), Kurt, Lance (Lynn), David (Colleen), Gary, Kent, Glenn (Tina), Kim Shervey (Jeff) and Don (Stacey). Maryanne was the proud grandmother of 24 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. She is survived by her sister, Carey Snyder (Eddie) and two brothers – Stephen “Buddy” Gradinjan (Ceil) and Vincent “Butchie” Gradinjan (Shelly). Maryanne has many extended family members.
Maryanne was preceded in death by her loving husband, Clarence (Bud), her parents – Vincent and Marie Gradinjan, and daughter-in-law Barbara (Gary). Maryanne has many extended family members who preceded her death.
Maryanne met the man of her dreams, Clarence (Bud) in 1950 when she was seventeen. They married in 1951 when she was eighteen and their journey began. They settled down in Cudahy, Wisconsin. Maryanne was the President and CEO of the Wagner Family (LLC). Maryanne’s responsibilities were the endless raising of their ten (well-behaved and well-mannered) children. Even with Maryanne’s hands full taking care of her children, she was very involved in the community they lived. Maryanne was involved in starting one of first neighborhood watch programs in Cudahy called, Patch the Pony. Even though Maryanne’s main priority was her family, she was very involved in helping and supporting her children’s school, scouts, sports and church. Maryanne was involved in the local school making of what was the world’s largest American flag for the bicentennial celebration of our USA. Maryanne was one of the coordinators and the main seamstress for sewing the stars for this flag. While Maryanne was still involved in her community and family, she was the lead chef in their family’s local restaurant. Maryanne was an outstanding cook. People would come from miles for her homemade specials, homemade soups, and her infamous breaded fish fry and tartar sauce. Even while Maryanne took care of her own family she offered child care for local families. Maryanne accepted these children as part of her family with love and care as she did for her children. After Maryanne’s children were all grown and out of school, she worked at the local Kmart and later Sentry Foods in the deli where she eventually retired.
Maryanne never felt that taking care of her family was “work”. She loved and devoted herself to her family. Even with all the endless responsibilities, one of her joys was gardening. Maryanne loved working bare-footed in her garden, which was mainly for feeding her family and sharing with neighbors. Maryanne was as strong and determined as a bull, but soft and tender as a flower. She was there to lend anyone a hand and more than willing to get her hands dirty. No obstacle would get in her way and she took on each task fully determined to accomplish anything asked of her. Maryanne enjoyed the fullness of her life and enjoyed the final moments in her home. She enjoyed being in their house for over 55 years. The final joys of life for Maryanne was watching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren come to spend time with her. Maryanne could never get enough of being around children and her family and pets.
The family of Maryanne would like to thank Heartland Hospice for their devotion to keeping her in her home and comfortable. A special thank you to Nurse Ursula for not only being there for Maryanne but for any needs she had and the care you shared with our family members. You hold a special place in our hearts! Also a special thanks to Jim Witkowiak from Witkowiak Funeral Home. Jim knows all the right things to say and makes this challenging time go so much smoother. Our heartfelt thank you to Jim!
A celebration of Maryanne’s life service will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at St. James Catholic Church located at 7219 South 27th Street in Franklin, WI 53132. Visitation is from 9 am. to 11 am. Funeral mass to follow at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, Maryanne’s favorite time of the year is spring. Please plant a flower or plant in her memory, or more importantly spend time with your family and share hugs along with a favorite phrase of Maryanne… LUM, LUM, LUM (Love U More).