Mary Agatha McGinn

June 18, 1939February 5, 2019

Mary A. McGinn, passed away peacefully Tuesday, February 5, 2019, at Bryan East Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska. Up until the night she went to be with God, she was story telling and debating with family. She was 79 years young. Once in childhood she was mistaken for Shirley Temple in her curly hair. In high school she was Homecoming Queen at St. Mary’s Academy in O’Neill, Nebraska, where she was also born and raised. She played clarinet in the band, was a member of glee club, the junior class play, and was editor for the yearbook. She’d bake a chocolate cake when Dad scored a home run. She was a lifeguard, swimmer and diver. Folks in O’Neill gathered to watch her execute a perfect swan dive. She attended college of St. Mary’s in Omaha and married Jerry McGinn. She and her four siblings, Jim, Mary, Jude and Danny lost their mother in the blizzard of 1949 in Holt County. She tried to accept the mystery of her mother’s disappearance, and was blessed with friends who served as mother figures. She was a survivor and we honored her struggles in life and how she learned to cultivate joy in her daughters Deborah McGinn and Maureen Palmer, grandchildren Allison, MaryAnne and Sam and great grandchildren, Theo and Beau. Maryanne remembers Mom’s bubble baths, listening to old records, sparklers on July 4th, hard strawberry candies, and roast beef sandwiches with Miracle Whip and white bread that stuck to the roof of your mouth. She delighted in art of all kinds and was especially gifted with paint and a sketchpad. She loved to sew prom dresses and outfits for her daughters. One of Deborah’s favorite songs was the hum of her Singer Sewing machine, and the thump of scissors. She sang when she sewed and roused us from sleep to pin, hem, and take a tuck here and there. She had a flair for decorating and she loved to shop. Chocolate was to be savored and coffee always took cream. She made Christmas a pageant of lights and wrapped up little things so we always had gobs of simple treasures under the tree. Blue stamps and Green stamps produced lovely dolls, even trucks for the sand pile. She was a bank teller, real estate agent and later, rang up groceries at Russ’s IGA. People waited in her long line just to hear her quirky humor and hearty greeting. Her following was impressive. I waited in that same line countless times, proud as I could be of my mom. Dad, Mike Pittz, my dog Spinelli and I were blessed to spend rich time with Mom in the last days of her 2019. While we were quite shocked at her unexpected death, we know she is pain free. She is our love. Later this summer, at Mom’s request, we will privately bury her ashes in O’Neill, Nebraska.

Deborah T. McGinn


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Mary Agatha McGinn

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Barbara Fisher-Schweppe

February 8, 2019

I met Mary at the real estate firm where we worked, me in the office and she in sales. She was one of my very best friends ever after and I wondered about her when the address I had for her didn't work on last year's Christmas card. My late sister-in-law, Doris Hazen, also thought the world of Mary, and if she were here she would have written too. I will miss her much, but like you, I will have the very best memories, including sending each other St Patrick's Day cards. My heart goes out to the family!