Eva Mackley

March 21, 1925February 6, 2019

Eva M. Mackley, 93, of San Rafael, Calif., passed away on Feb. 6, 2019. She was born in Duluth, Minnesota on March 21, 1925. Eva became an x-ray technician and married Leno Gherardi in 1948. They had three children, and then Leno passed away in 1962. Five years later, Eva married Oliver Mackley, a widower with five children, from Hibbing. They had another blessing, making nine children total. Eva and Oliver spent their retirement years between Minnesota and Arizona, relocating to California three years ago to be near family when health issues arose.

Eva was active in volunteer work, had many lifelong friends and loved hearing stories about her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed hiking, cross-country skiing, golf, competitive card games and was known for her thoughtful handwritten notes and cards. Eva had a deep enduring faith and was a daily mass communicant for many decades.

Eva is survived by Oliver; children: Bill Gherardi, Susan Mackley Dosen (Jim-deceased), Tom Mackley (Patty), Kay Gherardi Smiley, Jayne Mackley and Christine Mackley Jones (Scott); and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by three children: Gail Gherardi Oestreich (Chip), Richard Mackley and Cheryl Mackley Lobermeier.

Funeral: Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 11 at The Nazareth House Chapel in San Rafael, Calif. Burial: Service will be held in Hibbing this coming summer. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Nazareth House, Attn: Anna, 245 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael, CA 94903. Eva’s family gives special thanks to all the staff at Nazareth House and her very loving caregiver from Norway for their compassionate care during our Mom’s final time on earth. Heaven beckons!


Eva Mackley Funeral Mass on February 11, 2019

Entrance Song: Amazing Grace-sung by Cathie Peters / accompanist on organ

Eulogy: Chrissy (see below for copy of Eulogy)

1st Reading: Meg, Eva’s granddaughter, Kay’s daughter Psalm 62:5-8 A reading from the Book of Psalms: Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. The Word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27- The Lord is my help, the Lord is my light, the Lord is my salvation

2nd Reading: Jacob Jones, Eva’s grandson, Christine’s son Romans 8:31-35, 37-39 A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans Brothers and Sisters: What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, not life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future thing, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. The Word of the Lord.

Gospel: Father White, pastor at Nazareth House, he was a friend to mom and administered her last anointing just 2 days before she passed. He had tears in his eyes at the funeral. John 14:1-6 Jesus said to His disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The Gospel of the Lord.

Homily: Father White

Prayer Intentions: Kay, Eva’s daughter May peace come to all parts of our troubled world and may all people welcome God into their lives and live together in peace, we pray to the Lord.

That my mother Eva, whom I loved so much, and who was nourished at the table of the Lord be welcomed into the halls of the heavenly banquet, we pray to the Lord.

As Eva loved her family so dearly and through her example may we open our hearts to Christ, we pray to the Lord.

That we who gather here today stay ready to comfort Oliver and all who suffer grief and loss, we pray to the Lord.

That we unite our choices with the will of God, and there find our true freedom and fulfillment, we pray to the Lord.

Our Father - sung by Cathie

Ave Maria - sung by Cathie

Blessing by grandchildren – Jessica, Kim, Meg, Makinna, Jacob, Luke & Owen will sprinkle holy water over the casket. Recessional Hymn – On Eagles Wings- sung by Cathie

Eulogy by Chrissy:

Hello, thank you all so much for being here to honor my dear mother, Eva. My name is Christine, known by the family as Baby Chrissy. My mom was a legendary letter writer. She has written so many letters, cards, and thank you notes in her perfect cursive handwriting (which I have had to interpret for my 3 boys over the years, Luke once said to me with a card from Grandma Eva in his hand “What language is this in?, so foreign is this art of handwritten letters to this generation). I think of the encouragement she offered, her gratefulness, and her way of planting seeds of faith in each note. So mom, I would like to use this time to read a letter I wrote to you, and I apologize that it is not in cursive….

Dear Mom, I hope that as you look down on us from Heaven today that you can feel our love for you. You have lived a long life – filled with blessing and also much sorrow. Through it all, the constant has been your enduring Faith and your deep Love of Jesus. I remember the stories you told me of your dad, my Grandpa Joseph, and how he made the best soup from vegetables he grew in the garden behind your house in Duluth Minnesota. And how he made sure you didn’t want for anything even during the depression years. I imagine you loved being a Daddy’s Girl especially since you were the only girl with 5 brothers. The term “princess” has come up more than a few times. You never talked to me about the sadness of losing your dear dad when you were only 16 years old, but you focused on sharing with me your memories of his deep Faith and Love of God that you definitely carried on throughout your life.

I often wonder how you did it mom - you were 37 years old, raising 3 beautiful children – Bill, Gail, and Kay when your first husband, Leno, passed away. Again, like with your dad, you didn’t share with me the sadness and struggle, but you did share with me how deeply faithful he was. And without even telling me, I know that your deep Faith was a strength to you.

And if I ever wonder how you made it through that time with your strong spirit and deep faith intact, then I reflect on how you, mom, my spic and span, neat and tidy, organized mother who always kept the most immaculate house handled the after effects of marrying Dad!! You told me about the immense feeling of Peace you had the day you married Dad. You received this gift with an open heart full of trust as you were about to enter the utter chaos of merging your 3 with dad’s 5 at a time when almost everyone was a Teenager! And not long after this, MOM – you opened your heart to another baby – ME! Mom, your willingness to be open to a new life in the midst of all this shows me how you always lived your Faith and were open to God’s plan.

Do you remember how I was worried about you when I was about to go to college? I felt strongly (as only an 18 year old can feel), that after 40+ years of having kids in the house, you would become hopelessly depressed and lonely. I even tried to convince you to get a dog. At this, as in every other time, you took what life gave you, thanked God, and moved on. I remember how my theory of depression and loneliness was thrown out the window as I received your letters and phone calls detailing the many traveling adventures you and dad went on – including to the Holy Land. You also served others in many ways once I was finally out from underfoot. You befriended the homebound, did grocery shopping for them (only picking out the most perfect fruit), served at Church. I also remember the great friends you made during your 20 winters in Arizona. How you hiked, biked, golfed, shuffled boarded, walked every day to and from daily mass. You lived, you loved, you served, you remained Faithful – ALWAYS.

Your visits to us will be treasured memories, Grandma Eva’s Meatballs were GOLD in our house, The cribbage games, aggravation tournaments, the organizing. My pantry will truly never be as clean again

And Mom, please know how grateful I am that you made the leap of faith at age 90 in moving with Dad to this wonderful community of Nazareth House. I know it wasn’t easy at first – leaving your lovely MN summers and AZ winters, but that constancy of Faith in the midst of struggle served you yet again as it always has. You rose above the loss and you walked with dad as long as you could, made new friends, played cards, enjoyed life. You expressed to me just 2 days before you passed how wonderful your caregivers here at Nazareth House treated you and you became such close friends with dear Ava, from Norway, who attended to you to the very end.

And mom, I can’t end without writing about your 50 amazing years with dad –you two were such a beautiful example of love and commitment – I has honored to chaperone your 50 th anniversary dinner last June. And more than that, seeing how you both lived and loved eachother, how you made deep friendships, had a love of play, you both are so incredibly devoted to your family, we have felt your love and strength as a constant. And the thread through it all – your Faith, which Dad deeply shares. I was blessed to be with Dad at your bedside the last day of your life. He was holding your hand, about to pray over you. We didn’t think you heard us – you seemed to be sleeping so deeply, but when dad began the prayer, you slipped your hand out of his and made the sign of the cross. Your faith, ever constant, to the very end.

Mom – you walked with Jesus every day of your life with an open heart, full of unwavering Faith. You have spent a lifetime praying that all of us would have this same friendship and faith in our Lord. Please continue praying for us from Heaven that we may all some day join the banquets you are organizing with the angels and saints. We know you will have Grandma Eva’s meatballs ready for us, along with porketta from Frabonis and hard rolls from Sunrise Bakery. And we also know that you will be sure every hand has been washed….I love you mom


  • Funeral Mass Monday, February 11, 2019

Eva Mackley

have a memory or condolence to add?

Christine Jones

February 13, 2019