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Big Rapids Daily News

Mary Joanne “Mary Jo” Steeno, 73, of Big Rapids went to be with God after fighting a valiant 5-year battle with breast cancer on August 26, 2016.


Mary was born on April 1, 1943 in San Francisco, CA to John and Wenonah “Nonie” Shea.  It was during WWII, and her parents were stationed there.  Her father, John, was a Naval officer and attorney, and her mother, Nonie, was a hospital volunteer and Grandmother Extraordinaire.  After the war, the Sheas lived in Hancock, MI, where Mary spent most of her childhood.  She grew up the oldest of two and often cared for her sister, Kathleen, who is 9 years her junior.  In her senior year of high school, the Sheas moved to Detroit.  After graduating, Mary, a devout Roman Catholic, went to Fontbonne College and convent in St. Louis, MO.  While there, Mary was a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 8 years, receiving her degree in English and Philosophy, and taught elementary education classes..  After determining that she would serve God in other ways, Mary left Fontbonne for Michigan State University, where she acquired her Masters in Counseling.  It was there she met and later married the love of  her life, David Steeno.  They were married on August 7, 1971 in a small family ceremony in Midland, MI.  While David completed law school, Mary worked as a school counselor in various Michigan towns.  In 1986, Mary and David moved to Big Rapids with their two children, Karen and John.  They both served the Catholic Church and students at Ferris State University, together for many years thereafter.


Mary was the Educational Counselor for the School of Allied Health Sciences and Ferris State for 22 years.  She was passionate about providing quality education, serving others and football.  During college football season, it was rare to see Mary anywhere other than in front of a television cheering Notre Dame and Michigan State while making appetizers and homemade chili for family.  She and David attended many Green Bay Packers games at Lambeau Field and enjoyed spending time near the water. Mary was a lifelong learner, deeply spiritual, and a faithful friend.  She enjoyed ice skating, water skiing, and art of any kind, especially painting.  As a wife, sister, mother, nana and friend, she was loving and generous.


She is survived by her husband, David of Big Rapids, her spouse of 45 years; her daughter Karen (Kyle) Oberhill, and granddaughter, Grace of Kalamazoo; her son John (Chelsey) of Madison, WI, her sister, Kathleen (John) Reding and a host of family in Kokomo, IN.  Mary’s family will receive visitors at Mohnke Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 30th from 5-7:00 p.m., Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m.  A Mass of Christian burial will be at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at St. Paul’s Chapel with Father Tom Page celebrant.  Interment will take place at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.


Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Association, envelopes available at the funeral home.


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