Mary Louise (Flammang) Paul

Mary Louise (Flammang) Paul

MADISON-Mary Louise (Flammang) Paul died due to complications of metastatic breast cancer on March 27, 2017, with her loving family present.

She was born July 19, 1957 to Bernard J. and Bernice P. (Gerum) Flammang in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. On Aug. 16, 1980, Mary and Duane B. Paul began their married adventure at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Wisconsin Rapids. They lived in Albany, New York, Leominster, Massachusetts, and Louisville, Kentucky before returning to Madison, Wisconsin with their son, Matthew, in 1991. Another son, David, completed the family.

Mary graduated from Assumption High School in Wisconsin Rapids and earned a Pre-School Special Education degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her studies at the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse culminated in a master’s degree in Professional Development. Mary’s “three boys” were her greatest love. Laughter and commitment filled her life with Duane, her “rock” throughout her illness. Trips to Door County were special. Ever nurturing, Mary cheered on her sons with Duane, from the wonder of their birth through their first steps, to many soccer games, swim meets, music performances, graduations, job successes and late night talks. Family vacations, often by the ocean, were eagerly anticipated. Extended family and friends were always welcomed for celebrations, reunions, and casual visits. She was the go-to for her treasury of stories, songs, games, crafts, and activities for young children, and a role model for her nieces and nephews as they grew older.

The consummate teacher, Mary worked with a variety of Birth to Three programs until she joined the Madison School District teaching preschoolers, including those with special needs. Prior to her retirement, due to illness, she started teaching kindergarten. Her love of teaching never faded. Her work lives on in the student lives she touched and in the boxes of lesson plans she shared with other teachers after her early retirement.

Mary’s other interests included shopping, arts and crafts fairs, sister weekends, vacations at her brothers’ and sister’s Northwood retreats, decorating her home for holidays (Halloween was her favorite), meeting with friends, and extending kindness. When she lost her hair the first time due to chemotherapy treatments, she noted even complete strangers went out of their way to offer a helping hand or kind remarks. Mary noted wistfully how wonderful it would be if that same generous spirit was extended without the background of serious illness. A true tribute to Mary would be to extend a kind and generous spirit on a routine basis to family, friends, and strangers alike.

Mary is survived by her husband Duane of Madison; sons, Matthew of LaCrosse and David of San Francisco; siblings, Susan Giles of Elkhart Lake, Thomas ( Marianne) Flammang of Mayflower, AK, Peter Flammang of Wisconsin Rapids, Kitty Flammang of Rockton, IL, Margaret Flammang of Madison, John (Marcia) Flammang of Oregon and Jean Flammang of Wisconsin Rapids.; brothers and sisters-in-law, Sandy (Mike) Peterson of Sherwood, Les (Karen) Paul of North Aurora, IL, Darrell (Teddy) of Columbus, OH, Lori Paul of West Bend and Lynn (Rory) Zander of Kewaskum; many nieces and nephews, Cari Giles (Bob Schwalbach) and their children Nolan and Nadia, Nikki Giles (Steve Goetz), Betsy Giles (Angie Reindl) and their son Emmett, Chris Giles (Shannon Muench), Rebecca Flammang (Nathan) Bavolek and their children Julianna and Ryker, Elizabeth Flammang Puthoff and her children Luke and Miles, Amy Paul (Karl) Moos and their children Alex and Rachel, Heidi Paul (Eddie) Greenacre and their children Megan and Katie, Katie Paul, Harry Paul, Scott Peterson and his children Dayton and Olyvia, Patrick (Kerry) Peterson and their son Jalen, Jesse (Natalia) Zander and their daughter Lera, Stacy Zander (Eric Rollinger) and their children Edward Jay and Anna, and LuAnn Zander. She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Jim; brother-in-law, Bernie Giles; family brother, Richard Gupton; father-in-law, Les Paul; and mother-in-law, Evelyn Paul.

Mary was known as a gracious, compassionate, fun loving, generous, wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, hostess, and volunteer, with a love of teaching. Mary’s laughter will be missed. Her signature curly hair is a fond memory. Her beautiful spirit lives on in her children and all who follow her example.

Mary’s family would like to thank the physicians and staff of the Carbone Cancer Center who helped guide her through her journey.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. MARIA GORETTI CATHOLIC CHURCH, 5313 Flad Ave., Madison, at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 31, 2017. A luncheon will follow the service at the church. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON FITCHBURG FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 2950 Chapel Valley Rd., Fitchburg, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2017, and at the church from 9 a.m. until the time of the Mass on Friday.

Memorials, if desired, should be directed to the Carbone Cancer Center at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics to be used for breast cancer research.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson Fitchburg
Funeral & Cremation Care
2950 Chapel Valley Road