Mary A. Thill

Mrs. Mary A. Thill of Fredonia passed away peacefully on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, at Belgium Gardens in Belgium, where she had been residing for the last several months. She was 86 years old.

Mary Alice was born in Sheboygan on March 22, 1936, the daughter of Alois and Rose (nee Ansay) Wester.

The family lived in the Town of Port Washington until Mary was 6 years old, then moved to the Village of Belgium. Mary attended St. Mary Catholic School in Lake Church and graduated from St. Catherine’s High School in Racine.

On Sept. 14, 1957, Mary was united in marriage with Gordon Thill at St. Mary Catholic Church, Lake Church. They settled on the Thill family farm in the Town of Fredonia and began their family.

Mary was a faithful member of Divine Savior Parish, where she taught CCD classes, participated in Christian Women and sang in the choir. She was active on the parish council and served as president.   

Mrs. Thill enjoyed card games, especially sheepshead, and had been a member of a sheepshead group that played together for more than 60 years.

She had a passionate interest in genealogy and authored several books on her family and local history. Her favorite project was editing the book “Parental Stories of Pioneer Times,” written by Dr. Bernard Cigrand, the founder of Flag Day.

Mary enjoyed crafts such as needlepoint and stained glass and was a 4-H leader for leatherwork.

She was proud of her Luxembourg heritage and was a founding member and officer of the Luxembourg Society of Wisconsin. Mary and Gordon were crowned Duke and Duchess at Luxembourg Fest in 1997.

In 1971, Mary began a pen-pal friendship with Ann Chappels of England, a friendship that continues to this day. The two enjoyed traveling and shared many adventures together.

Those left to cherish her memory include her loving husband of 65 years, Gordon, of Fredonia and their son Paul “Gordy” (Jennifer) Thill of the Town of Fredonia.

Mary was the devoted grandmother of Erin (Dan) Southerington of Ocean City, Md., Allison Keough of Syracuse, N.Y., Marissa (fiance Ben Esterley) Thill of Hopkins, Minn., and Mason Thill of Menomonie and the great-grandmother of Robert and Zachary Southerington.

She is further survived by son-in-law Gary Keough of Elk Grove, Calif., sister-in-law Lucille Wester of Port Washington, dear friend Ann Chappels of Hyde, England, nieces, nephews, other family members and many friends.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, daughter Donna Thill-Keough, sisters Beatrice (the late Herb) Krier and Blanche (the late Robert) Thill, brothers Bertram (the late Verena) Wester and James Wester and sister-in-law Arline (the late Harvey) Thill.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at Divine Savior Parish, Holy Cross Chapel, 5331 County Rd. B, Belgium. Father Donald Thimm will preside.

The family will receive visitors at the church on Friday, Feb. 3, from 4 p.m. until the Mass begins at 6 p.m.

Mary will be laid to rest in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to Benedictine Mission House, 1123 Rd. I, Schuyler, NE 68661.

Eernisse Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolences may be left at



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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