Cover photo for Mary Theresa Lynch Wirges Kordsmeier's Obituary
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Mary Theresa Lynch Wirges Kordsmeier

February 3, 1926 — July 7, 2024

Mary Theresa Lynch Wirges Kordsmeier

Mary Kordsmeier passed away on July 07, 2024. She was born February 3, 1926, in Los Angeles, California to the late Anselm V. and Johanna M. Birnbach Lynch. 

She is survived by two daughters, Barbara Oberste (David) of Hot Springs, and Jane Dudley (Robert) of Scott; three sons, Michael Kordsmeier (Carolyn) of Aiken, SC., Frank Kordsmeier of Aiken, SC., and John Patrick Kordsmeier of St. Paul, Arkansas; one sister, Rita Goodgame of Little Rock; twelve grandchildren; twenty-eight great-grandchildren; ten great-great-grandchildren; and one great-great-great grandchild. 

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Charlie Wirges and then by Frank Joseph Kordsmeier; one daughter, Rita Mary Wells; one Grandchild Brooke Dilahunt, two great grandchildren, Dillon Dilahunt and Mathhew Guidice; One great great-grandchild, Aleah Allen; one brother, Albert Lynch and three sisters, Pat Small, Jeanette Low, and Elsie Wirges.

 

Mary Theresa Lynch Wirges Kordsmeier’s 98 Year Life Story

 

Her life was shattered when her husband of four months, Charlie Wirges, was tragically killed serving his country. She was 19 years old. Several years later, she married Frank Joseph Kordsmeier. They had six children. 

While raising their family, they were very involved with the local Catholic Church, St. Mary's in North Little Rock. She was the organist. She played for most of the funerals, weddings, Holy Week and Easter Services, Christmas and Sunday services.

One Christmas Eve morning in 1971, Frank suffered a brain aneurysm which resulted in a nursing home stay of 24 years at the VA. During this time, she took care of her ailing parents until they subsequently passed. Her eldest daughter, Rita Mary, died in 1992 of cancer and Frank passed in December of 1995.

Watching her go through these tragedies showed how strong her faith was. Nothing could waiver the faith, hope and love she had. She threw herself into working for the Catholic Church as a secretary at St. John's Seminary in Little Rock. Her dedication to the Catholic Mexican migrant ministry was a labor of love. She actually took Spanish language classes at night at UALR. She was 50 years old at that time.

She had many adventures, taking many trips, most to do with the Catholic Church. She enjoyed camping with her children and grandchildren. Beach vacations were her favorite. She absolutely loved watching the children discover the mysteries and wonders of the coast.

Several years later, she suffered a stroke. This would be the first of many health battles. Her children would take her, as often as they could, on their vacations. 

In 2004, she had a pancreatic tumor removed which was benign. She continued to travel with her family, but not as often. She lived independently until about 5 years ago. Her body slowly fighting her will. She left us on her own terms. There is so much more to this life story. "I had a good life"... She said.

LIFE WITH MOM 

Our dad taught us our work ethic, perseverance, and strength. "If you are going to be a ditch digger for the rest of your life, be the best one." Mom gave us our joy of life, honesty and love...lots of love. 

SUMMER

On a warm summer day, she loved to sit in a lawn chair with an umbrella for shade in the White river near John Pat's cabin and watch the grandchildren play in the water for hours. Also looking at rocks...always searching for that special stone. 

LATE SUMMER

She would spend time with me sitting on my back porch watching the horses and cows, saying her prayers. Listening to the machines harvesting the corn in the nearby fields. We had great visits on my back porch.

FALL

The fall season called for bonfires by the river. No matter what the weather was like, she was always excited over the anticipation of the next thunderstorm, each drop of rain, ball of sleet, or flakes of snow. Playing scrabble with John Pat and the beginning of picture puzzle season.

WINTER

At the cabin again, all wrapped up and sitting by a bonfire along the White River, or cuddled near the pot belly stove inside the cabin. Eating beans and cornbread, or biscuits and gravy. Warm coffee or tea.

SPRING

Her favorite time of year. We celebrated Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and the Belmont races and Memorial Day. Always so playful, a trickster and true leprechaun in the most loving way. We have many stories.  

PRAYER

I always thought mom had a straight line of communication to Gods' ear. "When Nana called, God would pick up that phone immediately. "Yes, Theresa, what is it now. Well, I have a plan, Trust Me". She prayed a lot with faith. You can say the words over and over, but she meant each and every prayer. I would think the love she showed for us is exactly how much God loves us.

CAREER

My mom's "career" was working for the Church. As we were growing up, she was the organist for St. Mary's Catholic Church in North Little Rock. No pay. She did it for God. She played for many weddings and funerals during that time. If we had been Baptists, my dad would be called a deacon and mom the organist. We were in church a lot. Eventually she worked as the parish secretary for St. Mary's and then onto St. John's Seminary where she was very instrumental establishing a Mexican Ministry for migrant workers. She worked closely with Father Torres. They would have masses in Spanish. She would accompany on the piano or organ. She loved the Spanish community so much so she attended Spanish classes at UALR. She was 50 years old.

RETIREMENT

She traveled a lot. Barefoot cruise to the Bahamas, Cruise to Alaska, many camp outs, sailing on Lake Maumelle, beach vacations. She had a fun, adventurous retirement, until her stroke, which only stopped her for a little while. With her children's help she continued her journey of joy. 

HEALTH 

She had health issues. She was the longest living survivor of a Whipple surgery performed in 2004. Before that, she suffered a stroke and every other year or so had to go back into surgery for scar tissue repair. She was the darling of every nursing shift at the hospital. Her attitude toward health setbacks was that it was another adventure. She was always upbeat and if she ever became so severely sad, she did so in private. She was very giving. The absolute poster person for altruism. If any of her family were suffering financially, she would help any way she could. 

Mom called each health setback during her life another journey. I don't feel this is her final journey. I truly believe she will come and "visit" us when we get out of line. She is going to have a blast in heaven. I'm not sure God will know exactly where to assign her. However, wherever that is, there will be laughter and joy.

 

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