Margery Elizabeth Lamonica nee Swift of Lombard, Ill., died February 2, 2013 at the home of her daughter, Kathleen Krochock, in Wheaton, Ill.
She was born May 28, 1927 in Pontiac, Ill., the older of two daughters of Victor Ross Swift and Tolita Mae (Campbell) Swift. She was raised in the community and on her grandparents’ farm near Rook’s Creek, Ill. Marge played clarinet in the Pontiac Township High School band and was the first female member of the Pontiac Municipal Band.
Her courtship by and marriage to Joseph P. Lamonica was memorialized as the “Brown Bag Romance,” when it was written about in later years. The story was noteworthy because Margery and Joseph connected during World War II when Joe, a soldier from Cleveland, Ohio, found Marge’s name and address on the outside of a brown paper lunch bag which he received while passing through Streator, Ill., on a troop train. They corresponded by mail for more than two years and were married October 22, 1945, in Pontiac, just four months after she graduated from high school. Today, the Streator Canteen Memorial memorializes those troop trains and the volunteers who served the soldiers on them, in part because of Marge and Joe’s story and her fundraising efforts in the 1990s.
As Joe was completing law school early in their marriage, they lived in Pontiac, Chicago and Northern Indiana until settling in Lombard, Ill., in 1958. There they raised the large family both had dreamed about.
Beyond her family, Marge touched many peoples’ lives through her life-long commitment to community service and leadership. She supported governmental and political causes, promoted a variety of charities, contributed as a scout and youth leader, and served the parish and school communities of Sacred Heart Parish in Lombard. Her career experience included teaching at Sacred Heart School for two years before embarking on a 23-year career at the Lombard Veterinary Hospital, retiring in 1990. In her retirement, she took a leadership role in supporting the Lombard Historical Society as an advocate, volunteer and fundraiser.
As her children came of age, Marge traveled extensively in the United States and overseas, first with her husband Joe and, after his death in 1991, with her daughter Kathy. One of her favorite destinations was Walt Disney World, where she built a lifetime connection with Mickey Mouse.
Marge’s survivors include daughter Kathleen Lamonica Krochock of Wheaton, Ill., who personally cared for her the last six years of her life, sons Joseph P. Lamonica, Jr., of Kirkland, Wash.; John M. (Cathy) Lamonica, of Arlington, Texas; Thomas A. (Claire) Lamonica, of Normal, Ill.; and James P. (Mary Jean) Lamonica of El Paso, Texas. She also is survived by 12 grandchildren: Brian A. Lamonica of Glendale, Ariz.; Joseph P. (Jenny) Lamonica III of Bellingham, Wash.; Michael C. (Kelly) Lamonica of Oswego, Ill.; R. Andrew Lamonica of Sunnyvale, Calif.; Michael P. (Amy) Lamonica of Juneau, Alaska; Virginia Lamonica (Andrew) LaRose of Maplewood, Mo.; Megan Lamonica (Jody) Skipworth of El Paso; Texas; Peter V. (Kate) Lamonica of Seattle, Wash.; Kristi Nation Westerfield of Wadesville, Ind.; Regina A. Lamonica of El Paso, Texas; Anna M. Lamonica of Sherman Oaks, Calif.; Anthony C. (Julissa) Lamonica of Abilene, Texas.
Marge’s 13 great-grandchildren are Anthony, Nicholas, Nina, Alex, Maddux,
Christopher, Katelyn and Hailey Lamonica, Mary Jean Skipworth, Colten LaRose and Emma, Braden and Landon Westerfield. She also is survived by many nieces and nephews, friends and neighbors.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, daughter Mary Elizabeth Nation (1955-2009) and a sister, Marilyn Million.
Visitation is from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, February 7 at Brust Funeral Home, 135 S. Main Street, Lombard, Ill. Prayers Friday 9:30 a.m. from Brust Funeral Home to Sacred Heart Church for a 10 a.m., Mass. Interment will follow at Assumption Cemetery in Wheaton, Ill. Info 630-629-0094
Video of Margery Elizabeth Lamonica Funeral Mass