Mary Elizabeth Waughtal, age 97, of Black River Falls, Wisconsin passed away on October 4, 2021, with her daughters at her side.
The oldest of three children, Mary was born to Clarence and Alice (McNulty) Hunter on January 31, 1924, by a midwife in Black River Falls, WI. Mary and her family spent her younger years living on the McNulty family farm in Snow Creek. In 1937, when she was 13, they moved to town after her family built a house on Main Street in Black River Falls. She graduated from Black River Falls High School in 1942 and remained dedicated to the school Alumni, volunteering for her class, and rarely missing the annual alumni banquet.
Mary fell head over heels for the love of her life, Walter (Jim) Waughtal. The two married on June 16, 1944, in Blair, WI and spent the next 51 years enjoying life, in love. Together they raised two daughters, Barbara Jean, and Cindy Rae. Mary worked at Bohem Optometry and Jewelry Store as a young girl and then later retired from Norplex. She and Jim also owned and operated Waughtal Christmas Trees where Mary would do everything from planting and bailing to selling trees on the lot. Mary loved seeing their repeat customers year after year. After her retirement, she and Jim moved to Oak Ridge where she lived until her final days. Not only was their home a gathering spot for family and friends it was also a spot for several white tail deer to visit over the years. Mary loved to watch the deer that were right out of her front window and talk to the ones that would practically come into the garage looking for (more) corn.
Mary was a social butterfly who loved to chat, sometimes it could take her hours to get through the market. She was a loyal card player and loved 500. She made several friends over the years and was so excited when The Hub opened at the Lunda Community Center, where she played cards every week. She spent many hours at her sewing machine. She volunteered with ELC’s Sewing/Quilting Ladies where she stitched quilt blocks and made quilts. Her sheet pan frosted brownies were always a hit! Mary loved all the family fur babies and was the best pet sitter ever!
She is survived by her two daughters; Barbara and her husband Mike Janicki and Cindy and her husband Mike Dougherty all of Black River Falls; Grandchildren, Mick (Angie) Janicki, Danny (Vickie) Janicki, Jermey (Jessie) Janicki all of Cadott, WI, Kiley (Chris) Sahr of Crested Butte, CO, and Jackson Dougherty (Margaret Bylsma) of Denver, CO; Great-Grandchildren Breanna (Lucas) Munns and Alexis (fiancé Anthony Brunner) Janicki, Garrett (fiancé Autumn Dembowski) and Spencer Janicki, Abigail and Grace Janicki, and Ayla and Alia Sahr; Great-Great Grandson, Ethan Munns; Sister-in-laws, Avriel, Barbara and Eunice Waughtal and Patsy Anderson; Brother-in-laws, Chuck and William (Ruane) Waughtal and Phil Rynalds.
In addition to her parents and husband, Mary was proceeded in death by her two brothers and sister-in-law, Robert and Edith and Joe Hunter; In-laws, George and Lucille Waughtal and Selma and Leonard Amidon; Brother-in-laws, Victor (Phyllis), Robert, George (Vernice), Delmer, and John Waughtal and Glenn Anderson; Sister-in-laws Margie Waughtal and Sharon Rynalds.
Mary touched countless people with love, in so many big and little ways, wherever she went. We will grieve for her, but do so in gratitude for the gift of her beautiful life. The family would like to thank Black River Hospice for their compassionate care.
Memorials may be designated to Black River Hospice, 711 West Adams St. Black River Falls, Jackson County Interfaith Volunteers, 407 Main St. PO Box 354 Black River Falls or to the Jackson County Humane Society 403 Pine View Road Black River Falls.
Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, October 14th at 1:00 p.m. at the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 115 N. 5th Street, Black River Falls. Pastor Jennifer Hatleli will officiate. Visitation starts at 12:00 p.m. until the time of service at the church. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery. A luncheon to celebrate Mary’s life will follow back at the church.
The Torgerson’s Funeral Home of Black River Falls is assisting the family with arrangements.