Mary Ellen Tholl, age 94, loving wife, mother, and matriarch of eight children, nine grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren, passed away on Saturday, March 13, 2021, surrounded by family.
Mary Ellen was born in Detroit, MI to Jerome and Mildred (Fredericks) DeSantis. She graduated high school at St. Philip Neri, Detroit, MI, received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Marygrove College, Detroit, MI, and an Associate Degree in Mortuary Science from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. On January 28, 1950, she married the love of her life, William E. Tholl, Jr., in Detroit, MI. They moved to Gaylord, MI in November of 1955.
She devoted her time to raising eight children, working voluntarily at St. Mary’s rectory, cathedral, and school. She was an organist at St. Mary Cathedral, a member of the Daughters of Isabella, a Cub Scout den mother, and a CCD teacher. She was instrumental in starting the Adult Education Program for Gaylord Community Schools. She strongly advocated education, thus, her working with the Gaylord Community Schools and St. Mary Cathedral School.
Mary Ellen was preceded in death, by her parents; Jerome and Mildred DeSantis, brothers; Denny and Fred, and four daughters; Gerianne, Mary Jo, Toni, and Patricia.
She is survived by her loving husband Bill, and children; Jeanne, Ed (Roberta), Lynne (Jeff), Margaret (Tim), sons-in-law; Thom Berlin and Mike Dobrzelewski; grandchildren; Bill, Dr. Matthew, Christopher (Pam), Dr. Danielle, Amanda, RN (Josh), Patrick (Elizabeth), Thomas (Katie), Hannah (Scott), Byron and Max; great-grandchildren, Reese, Cheyenne, Bailey, Lucy, Claire, Sadie, Lily, Maya, and Lyman; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A mass of Christian burial will be held on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at St Mary Cathedral, Gaylord, MI, with visitation being held at 10:00 a.m. at the cathedral. The mass is available for viewing by the community on the cathedral’s website at www.gaylordstmary.org. Burial will be at a later date in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Gaylord St. Mary Cathedral School or St. Mary’s Catholic School in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, PO Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.