Mary E. Hoernecke - 75

6/20/1943 - 6/20/2018

Byron, IL

Mary Elizabeth Hoernecke, age 75, of Byron died Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at the Serenity House in Oregon after a courageous fight with brain cancer- glioblastoma multiforme.  She is now home with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Mary was born on Father's Day, June 20, 1943 in Oregon, Illinois.  She was the daughter of Harold and Elnora (Suter) Rodeffer.  Mary grew up in the Mt. Morris area and graduated from Mt. Morris High School in 1961.  After high school, Mary completed dental assistant training in Milwaukee, WI and worked many years in Mt. Morris as a dental assistant.  Mary also worked as an assistant activities director at Neighbors Nursing Home in Byron for 18 years. She married Russell Hoernecke, the love of her life, on October 2, 1965 at the Church of the Brethren in Mt. Morris.  They adopted a daughter, Joanne, on their anniversary- October 2, 1972.  Mary was an active member in the community and long time member of the Middle Creek Presbyterian Church where she served as a Sunday School teacher and Deacon.  She and Russell were long time "skippers" of the Middle Creek Navigators.  Mary belonged to many organizations including:  Ogle & Winnebago County Home Extension, Ogle County 4-H, Ogle County Relay for Life.  She was the team captain of the "Muskie Mary Marchers" for many years, and the past three years, her team achieved the "gold team" - meaning they raised over $5000.  She was also an active member of the Rockford Flatlanders Muskie Inc. Club where she was affectionately known as "Muskie Mary".  She caught and released hundreds of muskies during her fishing adventures.  Her biggest muskie was 51 inches from Lake St. Claire, Ontario. Mary was a family assistant to two special families in Stillman Valley where she helped raise 8 "pseudo" grandchildren.  After retirement, Mary and Russ enjoyed traveling to visit family and friends in Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Colorado.  They also spent many weeks in Canada each year fishing Canyon Lake in Ontario.  In 2015, Mary and Russ celebrated their 50th Anniversary with an Alaskan Cruise. Above all, Mary enjoyed being surrounded by her family, friends, and her cats who will miss her dearly.  She is survived by her husband, Russell, and daughter, Joanne, both of Byron.  Her brother, Gene (Debbie) Rodeffer of Cary, North Carolina.  Russ's family:  Robert (Patsy) Hoernecke, Oregon, Mary Ruth Porter, Powderly, Kentucky, and Dorothy (Ed) McCollough, Roscoe.  Mary had many special nieces and nephews and leaves behind incredible friends who have shared in her laughter and life.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Elnora Rodeffer, and Russ's parents, Kruse and Ruth Hoernecke. Visitation will be held on Tuesday June 26, 2018 from 10am-12pm.  The funeral and burial will be immediately following at Middle Creek Presbyterian Church, located at 12473 Montague Road, between Winnebago and Byron.  In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations to:  American Cancer Society, Middle Creek Church, and the Serenity Hospice and Home.



10-12 pm on Tuesday June 26, 2018 at Middle Creek Church


Noon on Tuesday June 26, 2018 at Middle Creek Church

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