Madison -- Mary Mladenoff, age 84, died on June 30, 2012. Mary was born on June 10, 1928 to Maria (Picchioldi, d. 1968) and Battista Tarro Genta (d. 1933). She was the seventh of seven children. Her parents immigrated to Montreal, Wisconsin from Locana, Northern Italy in the early 1900s, with many Italians who went to the Hurley area to work in the iron mines. Mary came from a traditional and large Italian family where meals and talking were the main forms of social interaction and entertainment. As a young girl Mary loved reading, and continued to be a great reader throughout her life. She met her husband and life's partner John Mladenoff in 1945 in Detroit, where they had both moved during World War II to work. They moved back to Hurley, Wisconsin and married in 1948. Mary continued to work outside the home for over a decade as a Bell Telephone Company operator.
Mary and John had two beloved children David Mladenoff, PhD (Deborah Hobbins) in 1951 and Nancy Mladenoff, MFA, (J.J. Murphy)in 1958, who are both professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Even though John and Mary did not have an education beyond high school, they understood the power of education, and worked hard to ensure their children had every opportunity to succeed. When the mines closed in 1960s John and Mary took a chance and bought a service station and opened the Four Seasons Motel in Hurley, which they successfully ran for over 25 years. John died in 2005.
Mary was an avid baker, known to bake and freeze a dozen tins of cookies over the holidays that would treat her family all year long. John and Mary loved to golf and in the 1980s bought a home in Arizona to have a retreat from the over 200 inches of snow common in Hurley winters. But what Mary enjoyed maybe more than anything was spending time with her children, and her beloved only grandchild Isak Mladenoff (parents, Deborah and David). Mary and John moved to Madison in 1997 to be closer to their children.
Besides her children, their spouses, and grandchild, Mary is survived by one sister Margaret (Albin) Gulan. Deceased are sisters Phyllis (Rudolph "Dolpho" Borca) (Harold) Delodder, Mamie (Leland "Shorty") Sullivan, brothers Joseph (Ellen), John (Grace), and Louis (Jenny). She is also survived by three sisters-in-law and dear friends, Frances (Francy) (Mladenoff) and her husband (Wilfred "Bud") Ellis, Jenny (Louis Tarro), and Mary Ann (Mladenoff) (Guido) Ransanici. Her family also includes many nieces and nephews. Many were close to her, and her nephew Brian (Joseph and Ellen) was especially dear and helpful to her in many ways.
Mary had a smile and something to say to everyone. She was generous and lighthearted, and has left many wonderful memories. Mary was a kind, generous and especially patient mother to her two children in their long growing up.
She and her family appreciated very much the care and attention of the nurses, doctors, and staff of Meriter Hospital, Four Winds Nursing Home, and St. Jude's Hospice. All have especially appreciated the long time care of her physician Mark Davis, MD, and nurses Rhonda and Chris. Mary will be dearly missed by everyone she touched with her kindness. In lieu of flowers, Mary would have felt honored by contributions to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, P.O. Box 2566, Madison, WI 53701-2566.