Mary J. Hartel

 Mary Jean Hartel, 86, of Sturgeon Bay, was called Home to be with the Lord on Friday, August 12, 2022 at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay. While her health had been deteriorating in her later years, her passing was somewhat sudden. We take comfort as a family knowing that she is together again with her husband, Andrew, and all of her family who’ve gone before her.


Mary was born April 10, 1936 in Sturgeon Bay, one of fifteen children of Howard Walker and Grace (Maccaux) Walker. She grew up throughout mid and northern Door County, attending various schools, including Sunny Point School in Egg Harbor. Mary was raised Catholic and attended church through the county; mainly at St. John the Baptist in Egg Harbor and St. Rosalia in Sister Bay.


She was united in marriage to Andrew Martin Hartel on September 10, 1955 at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Institute. Her family moved to Algoma in 1968 following a job Andy took there and lived there until 1972 when they moved to Forestville. Mary and Andy returned home to Sturgeon Bay in 1974. She worked at (the former) Wisconsin Foods in downtown Sturgeon Bay, located off Kentucky Street near 1st and 2nd Avenues. Mary also worked at the Nightingale Supper Club in Sturgeon Bay and Plumbers in Algoma. She cared for residents and patients as a CNA at Algoma Long Term Care, the Dorchester Nursing Home, and Door County Memorial Hospital, both in Sturgeon Bay, for over 25 years.


Mary also raised her family of six children at home. She and Andy were blessed with over 53 years of marriage. He preceded her in death on January 16, 2009.


After moving to Sturgeon Bay, Mary was a longtime member of St. Joseph Parish and helped serve funeral lunches as a member of the Christian Mothers. She sang in the Sweet Adelines (women’s vocal ensemble) in Sturgeon Bay. Mary also played in the local dart league. While her children were growing up, she was a local scout leader for her sons and was “Ma” to many of her children’s friends. Mary liked knitting and crocheting and was also an excellent baker with her cakes and huge oatmeal cookies being favorites within her family. She’d often explain her recipes to family as needing “a little bit of this and a little bit of that”, even though those recipe “guides” never yielded the same delicious treats as when she would bake them.


When Mary’s dementia began to progress over 10 years ago, she moved into the Whispering Pines and Heights assisted living communities (which became Sturgeon Bay Senior Living and now Cherry Cove Assisted Living).


Her love will live on in the hearts of her family whom she will be deeply missed by: six children, Andrew (Lisa) Hartel, Jr. of Sturgeon Bay, Randall (Phyllis) Hartel of Baileys Harbor, Bernadette “Bernie” Kudick (Dave) Malvitz of Sturgeon Bay, Michael Hartel of Algoma, Joseph (Shelley) Hartel of Woodbridge, VA, and Patrick (Ann) Hartel of Appleton; seventeen grandchildren; twenty-three great-grandchildren; nine great-great-grandchildren; six siblings; Bernice Lasee of Sturgeon Bay, Marvin (Beth) Walker of Sebring, FL, Georgianne (Karl) Kodanko of Oshkosh, Robert Walker of Buel, MN, Daniel (Laurie) Walker of Sturgeon Bay, and Howard Walker of King; siblings-in-law, Doris Walker of Fort Atkinson, Judy Walker of Davison, MI, Roger (Marvel) Hartel of Sturgeon Bay, James (Colleen) Hartel of Lincoln City, OR, RoseMarie (Robert) Smith of Winter Haven, FL, and Donn McKnight of Arroyo Grande, CA; and other relatives.


Mary was preceded in death by her parents; husband; two infant children; son-in-law, Wallace “Wally” Kudick; granddaughter, Lisa Kudick; eight siblings, Morris (Jean) Walker, Wallace Walker, baby Walker, Kenneth (Arlene) Walker, Francis (Hazel) Walker, Merlin Walker, (infant) Charles Walker, and (infant) Pauline Walker; siblings-in-law, Walter Lasee, RoseMarie Hartel, Harry (Kathleen) Hartel, Albert (June) Hartel, Doris (Milton) Duerst, Clara (Clarence) Vogel, Irene McKnight, and Rita (Art) Mitchell; and other relatives.


Her life will be honored with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay with Fr. Robert Stegmann as celebrant. Mary will be laid to rest in St. Joseph Cemetery in the Town of Sevastopol, beside her husband, Andy.


Visitation for family and friends will be held after 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 2022 at Huehns Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay with a parish wake service to conclude the visitation at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at church Saturday morning, from 9:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m.


Memorials may be given in Mary’s name for any Dementia (or Alzheimer’s) or Cancer related association in honor of her fights with dementia and lung cancer (just recently).


“Our family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all those who cared for our mother over the years, and especially our sister, Bernie, for the devoted care you gave to Mom.”


Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Mary may be shared with her family through her tribute page at


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