MARY JO ARNDT, nee Larsen, age 78, of Lombard

Written by Brust Funeral Home on September 27th, 2011

MARY JO ARNDT, nee Larsen, age 78, of Lombard 62 years, died September 24 at Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove, Illinois.

Visitation will be held Monday, October 3 from 2 to 8 PM at the Maple Street Chapel, corner of Main and Maple Streets, Lombard.

Funeral Service will be held Tuesday, October 4 at 11:30 AM at the First Church of Lombard, Main Street Sanctuary, 220 South Main Street, Lombard.

Interment Private at Chapel Hill Gardens West.

Mrs. Arndt is survived by her husband, Dr. Paul W., D.V.M.; three daughters, Dr. Kristi L. Arndt, PhD., D.V.M. of Lombard, Kerri A. (Russell) Roselli of Rolling Meadows, and Dr. Georgianne, D.V.M. (Gregory) Ludwig of Lombard; four grandchildren, Gregory R. Ludwig of Lombard, Phillip P. Roselli of Rolling Meadows, Graceanne N. Ludwig of Lombard, and Kaleigh A. Roselli of Rolling Meadows; her cousin, Betty Bussema of Arizona; many other relatives, many friends, and many pets.

Mrs. Arndt was a 1951 graduate of Glenbard West High School and a graduate of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois with a B.S. in Education.  She was a former teacher having taught fourth and fifth grades in Villa Park and Urbana.  Mrs. Arndt had been a newspaper columnist and was the managing partner and hospital administrator of the Lombard Veterinary Hospital with her husband, Dr. Paul.  They established the Lombard Veterinary Hospital in 1959 and it is one of the largest single-family-owned small animal medical centers in Illinois.

President of the Village of Lombard, William J. Mueller, proclaimed September 24, 2010 as MARY JO ARNDT DAY in the Village of Lombard in honor of

–         her many years of dedicated service and contributions to the community including Mary Jo’s being an integral part of the York Township Republican Women’s Organization for 45 years and serving as a former Republican National Committeewoman for Illinois;

– serving as past president of the National Federation of Republican Women and a pioneer in efforts to increase opportunities for women in politics, government and education;

– founding the Illinois Republican Women’s Roundtable in 1989 whichbroadened the party’s reach into new communities of women; and through the Roundtable, establishing the Illinois Lincoln Excellence in Public Service Series which annually awards 10 to 15 fellowships to women to study government and politics;

– the many seminars she conducted on various facets of political organization and party structure and her campaign efforts in almost every county in Illinois;

–  and her service as Publicity Chairperson for the Lombard Minuteman, a group that raised $40,000 to build a log cabin at Four Seasons Park as part of Lombard’s Bicentennial;

– her service to the community by being a Girl Scout Leader, Executive Secretary for the Lombard Lilac Parade Committee, a Rotary Ann, and her activity and involvement with the Maple Street Chapel Preservation Society, the YWCA, and the Lombard Chamber of Commerce.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Mary Jo Arndt to be a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships in recognition of her devotion and excellence in service to the Government and she was reappointed by President Bush.  Mary Jo served as a member of the Republican National Committee for Illinois from 1988 to 2008.  She was elected to the RNC Executive Committee representing the Midwestern Region from 2005-2008.  She was the Chairman for Illinois Women for McCain campaign and was a member of the McCain National Hispanic Outreach Team.  Mary Jo recently completed six years on the Board of Directors of American Women for International Understanding and is a member and advisor of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois.  She is a member of the Xilin Asian Association Board of Directors.

Mrs. Arndt was twice elected by the Primary voters of the 6th Congressional District as their State Central committeeman, both in 1982 and 1986.  In 2008, she was elected Vice Chair Emeritus of the Illinois Republican State Committee.

A pioneer in efforts to increase opportunities for women in politics, government and education, she actively worked to expand the party’s base by bringing a diverse group of women into the political system.

As a member of the Illinois Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, Mary Jo served on the Working Group on Balancing Work and

Family, which explored issues such as child care, elder care and pension reform.  She represented President Bush as an observer of the Romanian

Elections in May of 1990.  Her government service also included a U.S. Senate confirmed appointment to the National Advisory Council on Women’s Education Programs during the Reagan Administration, where she served as chairman of the Women’s Educational Equity Act Committee and membership on the Advisory Committee to the Illinois State Superintendent of Schools.  She also served, by appointment of the Governor, on the Illinois Commission for the Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

Today’s Chicago Woman twice named Mary Jo a “Power Personality” – a woman making a difference in Chicagoland’s business and social environment.  She served as a member of the U.S. Small Business Administration National Advisory Council from 2001 to 2007.  The Foundation for Women’s Resources selected Mary Jo as one of 100 women to participate in Leadership America.  She was a member of the National Board of Directors of Leadership America from 2001 through 2006, a national not-for-profit leadership organization that recognized, educates and connects accomplished and diverse women to increase their individual and collective impact globally.

Mary Jo was a member of the Advisory Board of Leadership Illinois and Save the Patient.  The Gallup Organization selected her as a “Visionary Leader for the 21st Century” and awarded her a full scholarship to the Gallup Leadership Institute.

Due to her great love of the Maple Street Chapel in Lombard, the family requests no flowers.  Memorials to the Maple Street Chapel for its upkeep would be appreciated.  Maple Street Chapel, 220 South Main Street, Lombard, Illinois 60148.

Arrangements made by Brust Funeral Home, 135 South Main Street, Lombard. More info. 1-888-629-0094 or


Webcast video of Mary Jo Arndt Funeral Service


17 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jerry White says:

    My wife Mary Ellen and I wish to express our sincere sympathy to Mary Jo’s family at this sad time. She was a dynamo for the GOP in Illinois and nationally. May God Bless her and her family. Jerry and Mary White, Springfield, IL

  2. Bob Wood says:

    Mary Jo will be long missed. Her leaving us will be long missed.
    Rest in Peace.

  3. Dr. Linda March says:

    Kristi, you and all your family have my deepest sympathy in the passing of your Mother. Please know you are in my prayers. Linda March class of 1996

  4. Linda Yang says:

    It is really sad news. Xilin Association & Asian Community Center at Naperville lost a board member, a strong supporter, and I lost a dear friend and mentor. Mary Jo has watched Xilin grow in the suburbs and taught us how to stand up in the community. From the days I first got to know her, I have learned so much. She taught me to be interested in politics because you need to watch your own, and your organization’s interests. As an immigrant, Mary Jo taught me the American values. She came to our last board meeting, only a few weeks ago. She fought until the last minutes of her life with the mission of helping others. She always told me that God needs her to work and so many things need to be done, so she needs to keep working. Personally I can’t believe she could go through all kinds of cancer treatment for so many years when most of us would have been knocked out with only a few weeks of treatment. She attended Xilin’s functions, board meetings all in between the chemo treatments. Mary Jo was good not only to Xilin. I know many women who have told me the same story of how this wonderful woman encouraged them to stand up and get involved. I can’t believe she is really gone. To me, she will always be there with us.

  5. Shirley and Brian Klippel says:

    Our sympathy to Paul and the girls and their families. Remembering the days long ago…Grandma Larsen, Omar the Siamese, trays and trays of Christmas cookies to be baked and delivered and later years driving MJ somewhere to make a speech that she practiced in the car though she ALWAYS gave a different speech once we got there…the pajama party breakfast as we campaigned for George Bush…and on and on…bless you all~!

  6. Mark Breeden says:

    My deepest sympathies to Paul and all of the family. Our lives were enriched and inspired from having known Mary Jo. I will especially miss her infectious enthusiasm. She was an outstanding example of leadership, courage and grace.

  7. Jeff and Chris Cholewa says:

    Our deepest sympathies go out to family and friends and all that were touch by Mary Jo. The impact she has made has touched countless people and communities that will continue to be her legacy forever. Those that had the honor of knowing her were better because of her courage, strength, and the example that she set for all. Mary Jo you were loved and will be truly missed by all.

  8. Kimberly Immenhausen Kelly says:

    I am saddened to hear of Mary Jo passing; she welcomed and included me in her first Roundtable group. Although, my life leads me away from being involved in the daily political dealings, I have thought of her often for the lessons she had taught me. RIP Mary Jo you left your mark on the world by the women you touched with your spirit and fortitude.

  9. Dawn Green (Schwindt) & William Green says:

    Kerri and family, our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with you and your family. Your mom did so much for everyone, let alone, the people of Lombard.

  10. Joanne (Bray) Albanese says:

    My deepest sympathies to you, your Dad, your sisters and all of your family. When we were close at Lincoln School, I always admired both your parents, but your Mom was just a dynamo! Such a very impressive lady. My heart goes out to all of your family. I know we lost touch ages ago, but if you’d ever like to talk, please email me at My thoughts are with you.

  11. Betsy Bajek says:

    Kerri, Kristi, Georgie & Dr Arndt:

    My heartfelt sympathies to all of you. 40+ plus years of friendship with Kerri has really flown. MaryJo always made me feel like a welcomed family member.

    I love you guys! <3

  12. Mary Jean and Eldon Jensen says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary Jo’s family as we remember the many wonderful moments spent together thru the past 20 plus years in Republican Politics….Mary Jo was an inspiration to so many. She had an easy smile and so much energy. Her love of family and friends will always be remembered. May God give you strength and peace thru this sad time.
    Mary Jean and Eldon Jensen
    Lemmon, South Dakota

  13. Mary Jean and Eldon Jensen says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary Jo’s family as we remember the many wonderful moments spent together thru the past 20 plus years in Republican Politics….Mary Jo was an inspiration to so many. She had an easy smile and unending energy. Her love of family and friends will always be remembered. May God give you strength and peace thru this sad time.
    Mary Jean and Eldon Jensen
    Lemmon, South Dakota

  14. Arlene Holloman says:

    My heart goes out to the family. I’ve known Mary Jo practically my entire life. She was always there for me.

  15. Judy Burnell says:

    So sorry to hear of Mary Jo’s passing. I enjoyed talking and working with her. She will be greatly missed.

  16. Dr. Larry Johnson says:

    I was very sorry to hear about Mary Jo. I know you will miss her. My sympathy goes out to you and your entire family.

  17. Lorraine Lissner says:

    kerri I am heartfully sorry for your loss. And Sorry I could not make it the service. you and your family are in my prayers. Your mothe ris with Jesus now. God bless you and your family God’s peace be upon you as you heal . Love you Lorraine

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