In this season of Advent holding her rosary and prayer shawl, Mary Elizabeth McNamara Soukup, 92, entered eternal life on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, surrounded by the love of her family and friends in her home. Funeral mass was Saturday, Dec. 19, at St. Matthew Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids, with the Rev. Ivan Nienhaus and the Rev. Mark Osterhaus presiding. Burial was in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cedar Rapids. Visitation was Friday, Dec. 18, at Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services and before the service on Saturday.
Mary was born Aug. 24, 1917, in a farm home near Fairfax, Iowa, to Elizabeth Costello McNamara and James David McNamara. She graduated from St. Patrick’s High School and Paris Beauty Academy where she became an instructor. She married Milo Joseph Soukup on June 6, 1940, at St. Patrick’s Church in Cedar Rapids. A beloved wife and mother, Mary was a dedicated homemaker; generous leader for Camp Fire Girls, Cub Scouts and 4-H groups; loving co-caregiver to her elderly mother and husband; and faithful volunteer for parish activities, including co-leading the original photo directory of St. Matthew’s that included a history of the parish. She was a longtime member of St. Matthew’s Resurrection Choir, Senior Citizens and St. Bernadette’s Circle, where she and a group of friends initiated funeral dinners for bereaved families. Throughout her life, Mary enjoyed preparing family meals, sewing, gardening, special visits to Spring Lake State Park in Jefferson, Iowa, and connecting with relatives, neighbors and friends. In later years when her health declined, she continued to reach out to others through telephone conversations, where she engaged multi-generations with special stories of their ancestors and reassurance of remembrance.
Her values and life gifts will be remembered by her five children, Juanita and John Rolling, Sister Maurita Soukup, Sister of Mercy of the Americas, West Midwest Regional Community, Tim and Barbara Soukup, all of Cedar Rapids, Patrick Soukup and friend, Sharon Barrett of Jefferson, Iowa, and Michael and Joanne Soukup of Holland, Mich.; nine grandchildren, Kyler Soukup (with whom she lived and shared a special bond, and pup “Frisco”), John and Janele Roling and Chris and Scotta Roling of Marion, Eric and Lisa Roling of Brooklyn Park, Minn., Ryan Roling and fiancée Krysta Marx of Cedar Rapids, Andrew and Nicole Soukup of Washington, D.C., David Soukup of Chicago, and Alexander Soukup and Samuel Soukup of Holland, Mich.; and seven great-grandchildren, Katelyn, Benjamin, Madeline, Isaac, Madison, Blake and Ella Roling.
She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Martina Soukup of Cedar Rapids; and many nieces and nephews, including James Steinbrech, Louella Ulch, Loretta Basten and Daryl Steinbrech of Solon, and their families.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 59 years, Milo; her first great-grandchild, Zachary Roling; her beloved sister, Eileen Steinbrech and husband, Albert; and in-laws, Leo and Bert Soukup, Helen and Ralph Moore and Ernest Soukup.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Matthew Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids, or a memorial in Mary’s honor.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.stewartbaxter.com .