COLUMBUS — Mary Ann McNulty, 92, died peacefully on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at the Sun Prairie Health Care Center.
Mary Ann was born on Oct. 21, 1924, in Manitowoc, the daughter of Edward and Ann O’Connor Huberty. She attended Lincoln High School and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UW-Madison in 1946, earning a degree in secondary education.
Her teaching career began at Columbus High School where she taught English, Spanish and geography; she also spent a year teaching in Delavan. Mary Ann met her future husband, Philip McNulty, during her teaching years in Columbus. They married on Sept. 10, 1949, and made their home in Columbus where Phil was a co-owner of McNulty Grocery Store. They had three children, Tom, Mary and Ann.
Mary Ann was a member of St. Jerome’s Parish and an active member of the Columbus community including Columbus Woman’s Civic Club, the Library Board, AAUW, AFS and the local Munedoo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a volunteer at the polls on elections days and, after Phil’s death, fulfilled his term on the Columbia County Board. Mary Ann and Phil enjoyed travel and had many wonderful trips together. In later years, she participated in educational travel seminars through the UW Alumni Association.
Mary Ann had a gift for meeting people and cultivated new friendships wherever she went. She was a skilled conversationalist and a good listener. Friendships were valuable to Mary Ann and she nurtured them over her lifetime. While growing up, she shared happy summers with her many O’Connor cousins at the O’Connor farm near Mosinee and with Huberty cousins near Plymouth. The cousins, along with their spouses and children, stayed closely connected through family get-togethers through the years. She corresponded with eight high school classmates through a round-robin letter for more than 70 years and looked forward to get-togethers with good friends from her college days. Mary Ann enjoyed the camaraderie of two bridge clubs in Columbus for more than 50 years and loved being invited to luncheons and class reunions by the students she had taught at Columbus High School.
Above all, Mary Ann was a loving partner to Phil and a dedicated mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She rarely missed a concert, school play or sports event and happily shared her love of reading, bird-watching and all things Irish with her family. Mary Ann was grateful to those who came to her assistance when, in later years, macular degeneration forced her to modify her lifestyle.
She is survived by her children, Tom (Lisa) McNulty of Plymouth, Minnesota, Mary (Galen) Premo of Columbus and Ann McNulty of Cottage Grove; grandchildren Ed (Rose) Premo, Mariclaire (Joe) Schumacher, Kathryn (Louie) Mingione, Nora (Mitchell) Daubert, Eva (Humberto) Aranda, Karl Hummel, and step-granddaughter Dylan Hummel; great-grandchildren Brooklynne, Scarlett, Marjorie, and Jameson Premo, Freddie and Salvatore Mingione, Kye Schmitz, Kellen and Greyson Schumacher, and step-great-grandson Riley Schumacher. She is also survived by nephew Patrick McNulty and niece Evelyn McNulty.
Mary Ann was preceded in death by her husband Phil in 1992, her parents, her brother, John “Jack” Huberty; Phil’s brothers Vernon, Clarence, and their wives; nephew Bob McNulty, and nieces Penny McNulty Klecker and Claudia McNulty.
The family offers heartfelt thanks to the entire staff at the Sun Prairie Health Care Center for their compassionate and loving care of Mary Ann. Mary Ann very much appreciated the Sacred Hearts Pastoral Team and her very special visitors Sister Kathleen Conlin and Joanne Nitschke. The family also wants to thank Drs. Sam and Rolf Poser for their care. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Columbus Area Endowment, St. Jerome Endowment Fund or Wisconsin Public Radio. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Jerome Church in Columbus on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m.; the Rev. Garrett Kau will officiate. A visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass. Inurnment will be St. Jerome Cemetery.