Mary A. Yager died suddenly yet peacefully from an unexpected illness on November 27, 2021 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, WI. She was born July 22, 1930 in Lancaster, WI the daughter of Jack and Anna (Dressler) Joyce. Mary attended Bowen Country School, St. Clement Grade School, graduated from St. Clara Academy at Sinsinawa, and received her nursing degree from Mercy Hospital in Dubuque, IA. On December 27, 1951, she was united in marriage to Joe Yager. Together they raised their seven children on a farm in North Lancaster township. In June of 2018, she married Paul Horstmeier. Joe and Mary shared the work and responsibility of raising their children. Mary loved being a mother and was extremely proud of her children. When she became a grandmother, she and Joe loved spending time with them, taking them camping in the summer and skiing in the winter. Baking cookies and making maple syrup became some of the family traditions. She finished her “bucket list” when she taught all of her grandchildren how to downhill ski! Mary loved her nursing profession, especially hospital obstetrics and public healthcare, and she touched many people’s lives with care and compassion. She worked as a registered nurse at the former Lancaster Memorial Hospital, Grant County Public Health Department, and Orchard Manor Nursing Home; she was also a longtime hospice volunteer. Mary was a devoted lifetime member of St. Clement Catholic Church in Lancaster and a bigtime fan of the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers.
She is survived by her seven children: Kathryn Yager (Jeff Sibley), Mike (Becky) Yager, Bill (Betty) Yager, Ron (Natalie) Yager, Karen (Dana) Wollak, Linda (Rick) Rech, and Amy (Charlie) Montoya, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is also survived by her brothers and sisters: John (Imelda) Joyce, Cecilia (Stan) Ellis, Patricia Hampton, Kathleen (Carl) Timmerman, Therese (Ron) Evans, Beth Joyce (Mark Patterson), Mark (Laura) Joyce, and Joanne Joyce; sister-in-law, Rosemary (Neil) Kuenster and many nieces and nephews.
Mary is preceded in death by her husband Joe, her parents Jack and Anna, her brother Dan (Florentine) and an infant brother Jerry Joyce, her second husband Paul, as well as a brother-in-law, Patrick Hampton, a sister-in-law, Jean Joyce; and several in-laws.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Clement Catholic Church in Lancaster with Father William Vernon officiating. A private family burial will be held at a later date in St. Clement Cemetery, South Lancaster Township. Family and friends may call on Friday, December 3, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory in Lancaster, and on Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. until time of services at the church. In lieu of flowers and plants, monetary donations in memory of Mary will be given to various local Lancaster organizations.