Marilee Joyce (Stauffer Mathine) Sullivan, 79, of Grand Island, passed away Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, at Tiffany Square Care Center in Grand Island.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Resurrection Catholic Church in Grand Island. The Revs. David Rykwalder and Thomas Ryan will concelebrate the Mass. A meal will follow the Mass. Marilee requested that her body be cremated following the services, with private family burial to be held at a later date in the Page Cemetery in Page.
Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the church with a 7 p.m. vigil service. Visitation will also be held one hour before time of services Thursday at the church.
Peters Funeral Home of St. Paul is assisting the family.
Marilee was born on Feb. 28, 1939, at Page, Nebraska, the daughter of John and Della (Dorr) Stauffer.
At age 5, Marilee entered first grade in Holt County Country School. At age 7, her family moved to Norfolk, where she finished her education, graduating from Norfolk Senior High School in 1956.
She was united in marriage to Dale F. Mathine on Sept. 7, 1957, at St. Ludger's Catholic Church in Creighton, Nebraska. During their young married life, the couple lived in Lincoln, Kimball, Fairbury, Minden and St. Paul. In 1997, Marilee moved to Grand Island. Dale and Marilee were blessed with four children. While raising their four children, she volunteered in a number of organizations, including serving as a 4-H Leader, Wrestling Cheerleader Sponsor, Religious Youth Leader, Altar Society officer, Howard County Extension Club, Officer of the St. Paul Library Board, Grand Island Concert Association (serving as President in 1989 and 1990), helping with props for numerous productions of the Grand Island Little Theatre, was a member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 119 of St. Paul, present member of Resurrection Catholic Church in Grand Island, Council of Catholic Women and Catholic Daughters of America-Court Queen of Peace #2227.
Marilee was an accomplished pianist and organist and served as church organist for many Masses and funerals over the years. She was a talented artist and created several beautiful charcoal and pen drawings. Marilee founded the Unity Spiritual Center of Central Nebraska in Grand Island in 2001.
While her children were young, she worked part-time from home as a photography assistant. She helped with many weddings and manually retouched each photo. She also was a daycare provider for many young children. After raising her family, Marilee began working outside the home in 1987, in the schools Superintendent's Office in the Howard County Courthouse. In 1988, she became the administrative assistant to the Superintendent of Schools at St. Paul High School, where she served until she retired in 2007 – after 19 years of service.
She was united in marriage to Maurice James Sullivan on July 2, 2010, at Resurrection Catholic Church in Grand Island. The couple spent many happy years traveling and camping and enjoying their time together.
During her life, Marilee was a friend to many. She was always ready to lend a hand. During her time working at the High School, she became “Mom” to many young people. Although she lived her entire life in Nebraska, Marilee's love of travel took her to many corners of the world. She especially enjoyed her visit to Europe – particularly to Switzerland, Paris and London. She enjoyed several trips to warm climates like Hawaii, Aruba, St. Thomas, the Bahamas and made several memorable trips to New York City. Whenever she traveled, she sought out artistically created ballerina statues. Her love of ballet led her to many years as a patron of the Omaha Ballet and Lied Center in Lincoln. And eventually to take trips to Chicago and New York to see Mikhail Baryshnikov perform. Two of the highlights of her life were seeing Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolph Nureyev perform together at the Lincoln Center in New York City in 1986, and then personally meeting and visiting with Baryshnikov during a private donor reception in Lincoln, Nebraska.
She is survived by her husband, Maurice Sullivan of Grand Island and his children and their families; her children, David Mathine and his wife LeeAnn and son Thomas of Albuquerque, NM, Deb Mathine and her husband, Kert Maul of Stilwell, KS, Ken Mathine of Grand Island and Kevin Mathine of Omaha; brother, Ron Stauffer and his wife Connie of Norfolk; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; infant sister, Marilyn Arlene Stauffer; brother, Bernard Stauffer; and her husband, Dale Mathine in 2005.
Memorials are suggested to the family's choice.