Born: March 14, 1921, in Alsace-Lorraine, France
Died: Dec. 27, 2019, in Woodstock, Ill.
Mariette Ann Wilson was born March 14, 1921, in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France to Eugene Griesmar and Marie Emma Lantsoght. In hopes of finding a better life for his family, her father brought her to the United States in 1922 where they entered the country through Ellis Island in New York City. Due to quotas being imposed on immigrants at the time, her mother was not allowed into the country until a month later. The family first worked on a farm near Sandwich, Ill., that Mariette’s uncle owned until 1932, when they moved to DeKalb, Ill., and settled in a house her father built with wood that was salvaged from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. She attended a 1-room schoolhouse until high school. Life was not easy for her, her two younger sisters and their father after their mother died in 1935 when Mariette was only 14 years old. Her father eventually remarried, and Mariette and her sisters gained three new stepbrothers and one new stepsister.
In 1944, Mariette married Edward A. Kettmann, and together they had two children: Judith and Marlene. Mariette later divorced Edward and in 1950 married Vernon O. Wilson in Woodstock, and together they had three children: Karen, Linda and Alan.
While raising her children, she worked at F.W. Woolworth in Woodstock for 35 years and later went to work for the Woodstock Lampshade factory. She made many lifelong friends while working these two jobs. Besides being a homemaker, Mariette had many interests and hobbies, including sewing, knitting, and quilting. She was also very artistic and loved to draw, paint and “upcycle” just about anything.
When they were not working, she and Vernon would find time to go camping with the family and friends, and she shared many fond memories of the fun times they had around the campfire. Eventually they retired to Florida in 1984, where they thoroughly enjoyed their retirement while making new friends, golfing, bowling, and soaking up the warm weather until Vernon passed away in 1995. Thereafter, she stayed in Florida for many years but eventually returned to Woodstock to be closer to her family and grandchildren. She enjoyed belonging to the quilters group at Redeemer Lutheran Church and later making beautiful items for Mistletoe Magic at her church, Grace Lutheran Church. Through the years, she designed and produced many beautiful quilts and gifts for her family and friends using her creative talents. She never turned down an invitation to go to a casino and liked socializing and making new friends, helping others, playing dice and bingo, riding her unique folding bicycle, taking long walks, and staying active.
Mariette will be greatly missed by her surviving children, Judith Kettmann (McHenry), Karen Wilson (Peter VanTuyl) (Captain Cook, Hawaii), Linda (Ray) White (Wonder Lake) and Alan (Fay) Wilson (Woodstock); four grandchildren, Ben White and Matt (Megan) White of Wonder Lake, Hannah Wilson of Woodstock, and Marc (Stefanie) Hults (Candeda, Calif.). She was also blessed with five great-grandchildren, Penelope and Lucille White, Trevor (Cate) Hults, Lindsay (Nick) Sicketon, and Chelsea Hults; and four great-great grandchildren in California. Her sister, Alice (George) Lazzaroni (Florida), also survives her.
Mariette was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Vernon; daughter, Marlene A. Lantz; sister, Yvonne Barcus, three stepbrothers, Eugene Sutton, William Sutton and Fred Sutton; and one stepsister, Dorothy Sutton.
Her family would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to her caregivers at Hearthstone Manor as well as those from JourneyCare who helped make her last years comfortable and meaningful.
Visitation will be held Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, at Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney funeral home, 1211 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock, Ill., from 10 a.m. to noon, at which time a memorial service will be conducted by Pastor Ken Gibson. Burial at McHenry County Memorial Park Cemetery in Woodstock will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in her name to Grace Lutheran Church, 1300 Kishwaukee Valley Road, Woodstock, for their Sewing Circle ministry.