Mary Lou (Knueven) Wilwerding passed away on May 29, 2023 in their family home, surrounded by her five children. She was welcomed into Heaven on an “express pass”, where Denny, her husband of 55 years, has been eagerly awaiting her arrival since his passing six months ago, as well as her parents Louis and Gertrude, and older brother Father Jerry. She is mourned by all who knew her.
Mary Lou was the second child of nine, growing up on the family dairy farm in Leipsic, Ohio. Her constant faith led her to become a novitiate as a young teenager, before coming to the decision that her calling was to be a wife and mother. She attended Marquette University and earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. It was there that she met Denny Wilwerding while making homecoming floats, starting a whirlwind romance and marrying just after graduation. Mary Lou loved nursing, enjoying her work as a nephrology nurse before having her children, and then her career as a pediatric nurse later in life.
In 1970, Mary Lou and Denny moved to Colorado for Denny’s work. They planted their roots in Littleton, buying the house across the street from St Mary’s. She was an active and joyful member of their parish for 53 years, attending daily Mass as frequently as possible. She was also proud to be a founding parishioner at St Mark in Highlands Ranch. She became involved in many outreach and mentoring groups through the Church, including participating and leading Marriage Prep, Marriage Encounter, RENEW, CRHP, and others.
Mary Lou was always involved in her community and in her children’s lives, never saying “no” when there was a need. She loved participating at the school as room mother or field trip chaperone. She baked weekly both for her family and others, cultivated an extensive garden including freezing and canning the produce, and was always making her home more beautiful and welcoming for all. At every point in her life, she was a willing listener and always offered to pray for you.
Mary Lou delighted in her family, her friends, her work, and her faith and church. She loved to travel, including Europe and Japan with her husband Denny, as well as trips around the country including to Kansas City to visit her two daughters and families after they moved. Her trip to Medjugorje was a true highlight of her life, and she was grateful for the opportunity to graduate from Catholic Biblical School as well. Some of her favorite things were getting a ride on the tree swing, flowers both inside and outside, crocheting and talking with her best friend, evenings with their Cuisine group, and soaking in the beauty and peace at the family cabin. She delighted in serving others in every way, including with her homemade meals, cookies and pies. Her warmth, kindness and smile were unmatched and unforgettable, as were her many devoted friendships.
Mary Lou Wilwerding lived a full, long and loving life, leaving behind daughters Marie (Brad Venner), Peggy (Greg McCall), Laura (Mark Ancell), and Karen (Troy Rundle), as well as son Joe (Uta Letbetter), along with her 11 grandchildren: Nic and Elena, Ian and Cara, Andreas and Thomas, Catherine, James and Molly, and William and Max. The friends and the family she leaves behind miss her more than they can say and carry on her legacy of faith, love, and friendship. In lieu of donations or flowers, we invite you to smile and engage everyone you meet, say “yes” when there is a need, and to spend extra time with those you love.
Visitation and Rosary will be held on Thursday June 8th at St Mary Catholic Church starting at 6:30 pm, followed by the Rosary at 7 pm
Funeral Mass will be held on Friday June 9th, 11 am at St Mary Catholic Church, followed immediately by a Reception in the church lower level. Burial will be at Littleton Cemetery after the Reception.
St Mary Catholic Church | 6853 S. Prince St | Littleton CO 80120