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Mary Jo Prien
Mary Jo Prien

Mary Jo Prien, age 80, of Monroe passed away on Sunday, October 2, 2022 at the SSM Health Hospital in Monroe.  She was born on November 21, 1941 the daughter of Ted and Margaret (Baumbauer) Thayer in Wabash, Indiana. Mary Jo’s mother passed away from Leukemia when Mary Jo was very young. She was raised by her father and step-mother, Silvia; and spent every summer from childhood until graduation from high school with her grandmother, Josephine Thayer in Peru, Indiana. She loved her grandmother and her days and friends in Peru.

In her younger years of school she attended school St. Joseph’s in Freeport, then in Kenosha where she attended St. James School until 8th grade. The family then moved back to Freeport and she spent her high school days at Freeport Aquin School, graduating in 1959. She then attended Rockford School of Business.

All through high school Mary Jo worked as a “soda-jerk” at “Roy’s” in Freeport. She later worked as a secretary at Intercity Box and Plastic Company in Freeport. She then worked for JC Penney Company and  Commercial and Savings Bank in Monroe until she obtained her Real Estate License and began working for Keefe Real Estate and then for Century 21-Zwygart, for nearly 20 years.

She was a member of St. Clare of Assisi Parish-St. Victor’s Catholic Church in Monroe. She was a pretty good golfer and tennis player, and really enjoyed outings and tennis with her lady friends. She carded a hole-in-one exactly 10 years to the day (almost to the minute) on the same hole (#3) at Windy Acres as her husband did 10 years earlier (Weird).

Mary Jo is survived by her husband of 59 ½ years, John; her brothers, Steve (Linda) Thayer of Rockford and Mike (Ann) Thayer of Peru, IN; as well as many extended relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and step-mother.

A public visitation will be held from 11:00 am till Noon on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at St. Clare of Assisi Parish at St. Victors Catholic Church; a private memorial Service will be held at 12:00 Noon with Father Tafadzwa Kushamba officiating.  Burial will take place at a later date in St. Charles Catholic Cemetery in Peru, IN.   Memorials may be made in Mary Jo’s name to either the Green County Food Pantry or the Green County Humane Society. Condolences may be sent to the family at: