Mary Pat McGivney died on November 3, 2019, the way she lived each day: surrounded by family. Surviving her are her husband, James; her children, Jim (wife Jennifer), Daniel (wife Jeannine, daughter Jane), and Moira (husband Anthony, children Sydney and Henry); her siblings, Barbara Schuman and Kurt Schultz; and a large extended family who misses her terribly. She’s preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Eileen Schultz, and her brother, Michael.
Mary Pat lived in Charlotte, N.C., but always called Chicago home. She grew up on the north side in Avondale, the daughter of Henry, a decorated World War II Marine, and Eileen, a WWII matchbook model and proud Irish colleen. An outgoing, funny girl who had a way with kids, Mary Pat enjoyed lots of friends and was the neighborhood’s in-demand babysitter.
When Mary Pat was 19, a night out with a fake ID became proof that sometimes, crime pays. The ID was her sister’s—and her ticket into a nightclub—where she met a charming southsider named Jim McGivney with a wit as fiery as his red hair. Four years later, her last name became McGivney, too. Within six years, three little ones completed their family.
They followed Jim’s assignments from the Drug Enforcement Administration: Indiana, South Carolina, and Virginia. Mary Pat raised her family amid the music of the sixties, the scent of freshly baked zucchini bread, and the ever-present sound of laughter. In their home, family came first: each night, they shared dinner (chili nights were favorites); each vacation, they returned to Chicago to visit relatives.
For 18 years, Mary Pat worked as a legal assistant for Compton & Duling in Woodbridge, Va. In addition to her eye for detail at work, she had an incredible eye for design. She elevated present-wrapping and holiday décor to art forms. Her kids had the best, homemade Halloween costumes in the neighborhood. And each Christmas, she created beautiful cross-stitched gifts.
Mary Pat loved a celebration. No party or wedding reception truly began until she and her cousin Kathy Maiello hit the dance floor. No relative celebrated a birthday or anniversary without receiving a perfectly timed card from her. During holidays, Mary Pat’s dinner table swelled with honorary McGivney kids—her children’s friends often joined the festivities—with everyone lingering at the table over stories and drinks for hours after the meal.
Above all, Mary Pat loved her husband and children, and she reminded them daily through word and action. She adored her grandchildren, and God help the person who waited for a turn to hold her grandbabies. She was never done holding them.
Mary Pat requested that no one make a fuss about her death, a request her family respectfully declines. A service will be held to celebrate her life on November 9, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home in Huntersville, N.C., with a gathering of family and friends beginning there at 12:30 p.m. A Chicago celebration will be held on December 7, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at Saint James Church in Arlington Heights, Ill. Memorial contributions may be made to Toys For Tots, the DEA Survivors’ Benefit Fund, or the DEA Educational Foundation. You can also honor Mary Pat by hosting family and friends for dinner, telling old stories, and raising a glass to our beloved wife, mom, sister, cousin, and friend.
Online condolences and memories may be left for the family at kepnerfh.com.