She was bound to the land from the day of her birth
Her roots anchored in the fertile earth
Nurtured, sustained, but the soil she grew
And her life, like his furrows, ran straight and true
In faith, each spring, she planted the seeds
In hope, to reap for her family’s needs
With patience, she waited for the harvest to come
To gather the fruits of her labor home
Ever turning seasons, the years sped past
Till the final harvest came at last
Then claimed anew by beloved sone
She was gathered home to be with God.
Barbara W Weber
Marie E Wiltse
Age 78, of Maple Park, passed away peacefully at home on the farm surrounded by love and prayers of family in the early hours of Sunday, August 26, 2018.
Marie was born the youngest of seven, on July 26th, 1940, in West Chicago, to proud parents, Henry L. And Mayme L. (White) Theis. She grew up in West Chicago for a time but spent most of her growing up years in Batavia where she attended a one room school house.
Marie was never comfortable with the level of her education, despite the fact that many of her generation only went to school to the eighth grade before returning to the farm and supporting family. This may have been instilled in her the kind of legendary work ethic that followed her every day of her life, and that was evident in everything she did. Losing her father at the age of seven also defined the paths that Marie would later take.
Marie was no stranger to work and her resume began with the baby-sitting of a number of nieces and nephews, including local families. At the same time, she helped her mother with the vegetable garden which fueled their farm stand. The farm stand grew roots of its own and continues to this day, bigger, better but still staffed by dedicated family members who are proud to continue the tradition that started so long ago.
Marie met the man she would marry on one of her many trips with friend to the Blue Moon. In retrospect, Jerome “Red” Wiltse never had a chance. He may have lost his heart, but he gained Marie’s hand in marriage on June 3, 1961. They began their new life together on Harter Road for a short time until 1965., when they moved to the present family farm on Rt. 38 near County Line Rd. Together with Jeromes sousing, John Hickey, they farmed the family lans around Maple Park.
Marie had a deep and abiding faith with a heart for charity. She always gave to those in need and was an active and faithful member of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. There she served on the Cenacle Guild and could always be found in the thick of annual fall festival.
Marie grew up outside in the sunshine and under the bright blue sky. She rode "the ponies", which were really full grown horses, to competitions where she rode western style. Her first best friend, Peg (nee Malone) Hannon was the only one she ever needed for the rest of her life. They grew up together playing in the fields of what is now Fermilab in Batavia.
In later years, she passed on her hard won knowledge to her children and showed them through her actions what it was to be a hard worker. The vegetable garden grew in size as her kids did the same, she'd take them to local markets. When Red died in 1986, Marie assumed his position in the partnership with John Hickey. This meant that she had to take on his duties, overseeing the livestock and farming side of the family business. Many people thought, and several actually said, that Marie wouldn't be able to do it. How wrong they were. Marie's steely determination answered any questions as to her abilities.