Mary Elizabeth DeNeve Spurgeon, 74, of Hillsdale, departed this life on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, at Unity Point Hospital-Trinity Rock Island, leaving behind the earthly world and entering into joyful peace and serenity with the Lord. A funeral Mass celebrating her life will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16 at St. Malachy Church, Geneseo. The Rev. Michael Pakula will officiate. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery, Geneseo. A visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15 at Vandemore Funeral Home, Geneseo, where a scripture service will be held at 7 p.m. Memorials may be made to the Mary DeNeve Spurgeon Memorial Fund.
She was born on Jan. 12, 1939, in Geneseo, the daughter of Guy and Cora (Daoust) Winefordner. Mary graduated from Mineral High School in 1957 and married Frederick Joseph “Fritz” DeNeve soon after at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Atkinson. He died in 1991. In addition to being an industrious wife, mother and homemaker, over the years she worked at The Deck and The Cellar, at Turpin Motors and as an insurance agent. After Fritz’s death, she became owner and manager of Spirits in the Oaks Campground, Geneseo. Working with Native American tribes, she hosted annual Pow Wows at the campground for a decade. She married Jack T. Spurgeon in December 2001.
The Mary we will always fondly remember loved her family and friends and, as a young wife, shared her home with aging relatives. She loved big family events and reunions and traveling to visit her far-flung children and their families. She enjoyed Friday night card games with friends and put on some long-remembered Halloween parties. She was an avid gardener and canned, froze or made jam from just about anything, and could make a pot of spaghetti that could feed an army! She had a long-time interest in archeology and held a strong passion for protecting and improving the environment. She enjoyed fishing, travel and watching the St. Louis Cardinals and the Iowa Hawkeyes with Jack.
Mary was a devoted Catholic. She and Fritz were members of St. Malachy Parish, Geneseo for many years before becoming members of St. Patrick Parish, Colona.
Mary leaves to cherish her memory a large, loving and extended family: her husband of the last 12 years, Jack T. Spurgeon and his children, Vicki (Mark) Sievers, Diana (Jamie) Mueller and Jonna Spurgeon and their children and grandchildren; her sisters, Alice Kennedy and Lois Hull; her brother, William Winefordner and by Mary and Fritz’s children, Deborah (Anthony) Magaldi, Christine (Dean) Wright, Jeffrey (Sally) DeNeve, Rhonda (Michael) Cyrus, Bryan (Barbara) DeNeve, Chiara (Rob) DeNeve-Weeks and Denise (Mark) DeNeve-Oberle and grandchildren, Heather, Kevin, Neil, Kelsey, Catherine, Alexandria, Michaela, Julian, Justin, Austin, Paul, Daniel, John, Mark, David and Danaan. She was preceded in death by her husband of 34 years and the father of their seven children, Frederick Joseph “Fritz” DeNeve and her brother, Charles.