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Mary Catherine Saunders, 98, Beaver Dam, passed away Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, at Hillside Manor in Beaver Dam.

Mary was born Oct. 30, 1919, in Pendleton, Oregon, to Harry and Alma (Scheer) Gianelli. She graduated high school in 1937 from St. Joseph Academy and nursing school in 1940 from St. Anthony Hospital, both in Pendleton, Oregon. She joined the U.S. Navy in 1942, serving in Seattle, Hawaii and San Diego during World War II. In December 1945, she married Fred Saunders, son of Frederick and Martha Saunders of Green Bay.

Mary was busy at home for a few years before going back to nursing at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Beaver Dam and then at Medical Associates. She found time to play golf, tennis and bridge with friends. Mary sewed a lot for her daughters and herself, and created beautiful wool shirts for her husband. She also embroidered, crocheted and cross-stitched. She enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes. She loved traveling with family and friends, cruising the Amazon River, going through the Panama Canal, Bermuda, parts of Europe, Canada and many states. She was currently a member of St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Beaver Dam.

Mary is survived by her children, Jack (Sandra) of Beaver Dam, Jane Schmidt of Milwaukee, Mark of Madison, Karen (Dan) Fix of Madison, Tim (Pat) of Oregon, Fred (Karen) of Seattle, Washington, and Janelle of Bryans Road, Maryland; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; sister, Clare Kelly; brother, William Gianelli; son-in-law, William Schmidt; and other relatives.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, Jan. 3, at St. Katharine Drexel Parish, 511 S. Spring St., Beaver Dam from 10:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Mike Erwin as celebrant. Immediately following the Mass, a luncheon will be served at Cornerstone.

If desired, memorials in Mary’s name may be directed to St. Katharine Drexel Parish.

The family thanks the staff of Eagles Wings and Hillside Manor for their attentive care and love they showed to Mary.

Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 135 Keller Blvd., Beaver Dam, is honored to be serving the family. Send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at