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Mary Patricia Hand, of Rockville, Maryland, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, surrounded by her family.
She is survived by her beloved husband of 65 years, James M. Hand; her children Jim (Mary Pat) Hand and Susan Sumner; five grandchildren: Kristen (Jason) Smoker, Greg Hand, Paula (Matthew) Chung, Justin (Jennifer) Sumner, and Michael (Stefania) Sumner; and six great-grandchildren: Charlotte and Nora Smoker, Renata Chung, and Jakob, Sofia & Maria Sumner.
From Mary's son, Jim Hand: "Mom was all about love. First and foremost, she loved Jesus and had a special affection for His mother Mary. She delighted in attending mass and retreats, enjoying every opportunity to learn more about God. In this and in her family life, she was marked by beautiful faith and devotion.
Mom was all about love for her family. She cherished her relationship with her father and mother, Ray and Ruth Valentine. Our family made many memorable trips to Mount Vernon, Ohio, to visit her parents as they were aging. Mom also frequently expressed her love for her two brothers, Bob and Sam Valentine, and was in regular contact with both them and their families until they recently passed. Hardly a day went by in which Mom wasn’t retelling a favorite story about Bob and Sam or her parents.
And, of course, Mom deeply loved Jim Hand, her husband of nearly 65 years. They did everything together, and epitomized the Bible verse that says, “the two shall become one”. Dad will miss Mom—his best friend—more than anyone will, but he takes comfort in the knowledge that she is with Jesus in heaven.
Mom’s love overflowed to her children—Jim and his wife Mary Pat, and Susan—and her five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. In her final, challenging months, looking at pictures of her great-grandchildren always brought a delighted smile to her face.
Mom was all about love for her broad network of friends, which spanned many decades. She touched many lives through her loyalty and devotion, making sure to stay in contact and maintain her friendships. One of her special friendships was with Sister Petronella, who was her fifth-grade teacher, and later one of her high school teachers in Lagrange, Illinois. The two continued to keep in touch, mostly through letters, until Sr. Petronella died at nearly 100 years old. Mom treasured and kept each of those letters, and a picture of Sister Petronella is still on display in our living room.
Mom loved sports, and actually met Dad through ping pong! She later enjoyed playing golf and tennis, and always loved watching the sporting events of her children and grandchildren. She loved watching baseball and was an avid fan of the Washington Nationals. She really liked Max Scherzer—a fellow graduate of University of Missouri and owner of two dogs—and Anthony Rendon (he smiled a lot!).
Mom loved teaching and found her place as a substitute teacher and a home instructor for four decades. She was following the footsteps of her mother, who was a 2nd grade teacher, and later I—her son—followed her footsteps as a teacher for almost 40 years. Mom even substituted for me and taught my class a few times; we got a kick out of sharing notes afterwards.
Mom loved traveling. In addition to journeying all over the US to see relatives and explore places of interest, Mom also took the adventure overseas. Among her travels she was able to explore Rome and other parts of Italy, and traverse through Ireland and the Holy Land. I am sure I am missing some of the places her brave spirit took her. She was quick to describe how much she loved the beauty and diversity of God’s creation.
I could go on and on, but there is not enough time. While she was earth, Mom was all about love, and many lives were touched and enriched because of this. Now in heaven, we are confident that Mom will know all about God’s tender love for her, both now and for all eternity.
And Mom, save a lot of places next to you in heaven. We will have a lot of catching up to do, and a lot of time to do this. We love you!"
Visitation will begin at 10am on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 4101 Norbeck Road, Rockville, Maryland 20853, where the Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11am. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph, LaGrange Park, IL. www.csjoseph.org
Congregation of St. Joseph
1515 West Ogden Avenue, LaGrange Park IL 60526