Mary Ellen Tschirhart passed away on November 9th in Gainesville, Florida. She was 96. Mary was born on August 14th, 1918 in New York City to Irish immigrants Delia and Thomas McManus. She had five brothers and one sister. Mary graduated from Catholic high school in Manhattan and then attended City College. After school she worked as a secretary for the Pennsylvania Railroad during World War II.
In 1944 Mary met John Tschirhart, a Navy pilot on leave in New York City. They married a year later, just days before the end of the War. They lived in Manhattan for several years before moving to New Jersey for 8 years, and then Wantagh, Long Island for 6 years. During this period Mary and John had three sons. In 1964 the family moved to Titusville, Florida where John worked at Cape Kennedy during the Apollo years. In 1970 they returned to Long Island where Mary attended Farmingdale State College. She was active in church and community affairs and was a Pink Lady volunteer at Mercy Hospital.
After retiring, Mary and John moved to Gainesville in 1987 where she was a member of Holy Faith Catholic Church and the Catholic Women’s Club. She spent several years with the Holy Faith crafts club, the Golden Gators seniors group, and worked with ceramics at the Bolten Center, the Gainesville Women’s Club, and, with her husband, a member of MCAA (Military Officers Association of America). Mary was involved in crafts and was an avid reader and movie goer.
Mary enjoyed traveling and sightseeing. With her husband John, they motored extensively across the U.S., visiting many national parks and points of interest along the way. Other travels included a visit to Mexico and several across Canada and Nova Scotia, a trip to Hawaii and a cruise to Alaska. They made a total of seven trips to various European countries where they utilized tourist excursions to absorb local atmosphere, customs and cuisines.
Her survivors include John, her husband of 69 years, and three sons: John living in Colorado, Jeff living in Kauai, Hawaii, and Kevin living in Gainesville. She also has two grandchildren, Deborah living in Oregon and Daniel living in Colorado.
Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled at 9:00 AM on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at the Holy Faith Catholic Church (747 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville).