Mary Kathleen Albert, age 69, of Effingham passed away at 2:41 a.m. Friday, March 20, 2020 at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois surrounded by her loving family.
Private family services will be held at Pagel Funeral Home in Edgewood with burial at Hayes Cemetery in Hidalgo, IL. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Effingham Humane Society in honor of her faithful rescued companion, Maple.
Kathleen was born on May 6, 1950 in Effingham, Illinois, the daughter of Martin and Lula Mae (Logan) Senior. She married Fred Albert on August 2, 1986.
Kathleen spent over 40 years in leadership, tenaciously advocating for those who had no voice, at Effingham County Committee on Aging and later, the National Alzheimer’s Association. Even in the face of unpopular opinion or pressure, she never backed down from what she knew was right. In a time where female bosses were not celebrated, she taught her children the meaning of having a compassionate heart while staying tough and unfaltering.
She walked into a room and dominated with her presence, class and style. Her clothing, jewelry, hair and makeup were meticulously put together, no matter the situation. Her style shone during the holidays where her Christmas trees became legendary. Her extravagant love appeared through matching Christmas pajamas, stuffed stockings for grown children and everything she brought to the holidays was full of sparkle and glitter. She was easily the most beautiful, put together and interesting woman in the room. Every time we see leopard print, sparkly earrings, the color gold or brightly colored manicured nails, we will think of mom.
She was an avid fan of the Chicago Cubs. She never missed a game, took her children to Wrigley Field and threw the best World Series party. Being a Cardinals fan was a major obstacle, if not deal breaker, to dating her children. We can only imagine that Ron Santo and Ernie Banks were the first ones to greet her at the gate.
The ones who called her “Mimi and Grandma Kathleen” were the ones that held her heart; Caittlyn, Max, Wyatt, Grace, and Charlie will miss her playful storytimes, her beautiful singing, her willingness to listen to whatever problems they had and her fierce and protective love that only a grandmother has for her grandchildren. Her most treasured role was being “Mimi.”
She had four very different children but connected deeply in a unique way to each one of them. That was her gift. She made you feel special when you were around her and would always treat her friends and her children’s friends just like her family. Many family holidays, vacations and milestones were celebrated with friends and children she “adopted” as her own.
She is survived by her husband, Fred Albert. Her fierceness lives on in her children: Lynette Stoneburner (Ty), Krystle Schuette (Mike), Dustin Herrmann (fiancé Kirsten) and Monica Szymanski (Jamie); sister, Jeanne Garrod (husband John) of Ocala, Florida; four grandchildren with one on the way and one great-grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Martin and Lula Mae Senior; brother, Keith Senior; two sisters, Patricia Prather and Carole Scroggins.
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