Mary C. Kitta (nee Zwara), age 101, of St. Louis, MO; fortified with the Sacraments of the Holy Mother Church, passed away peacefully on February 11, 2020. She was born on July 4, 1918, and her mother always told her that the Independence Day fireworks were for her. She was the seventh child of John and Appolonia Elizabeth (nee Bockskopf) Zwara. She was married to her beloved husband, Louis August Feser, from March 1939 until his death in 1966. They had three children, Carol Ann (Steven) Cira, James Louis Feser, and Mary Janiece (John) Pisoni. She later married Lloyd Peterson, was subsequently widowed, and married and divorced Edward Kitta. She was a dear grandmother to Elisa (Jeffrey) Rudolph, Anthony (Valerie) Knoppe, Jeffrey (Karen) Knoppe, Melissa (Mark) Hall, John Pisoni, and Kimberly Pisoni, and dear great-grandmother to Morgan Wuenscher, Taylor Rudolph, Dylan Rudolph, Kayla Rudolph, David Hall, and Joshua Hall.
Mary Catherine Zwara’s tenacious spirit endured through the ups and downs of her century-long life. She was born in the tiny three-room house in St. Louis City where she was raised. Mary and her four older sisters (Elizabeth Marie, Appolonia Veronica, Anastasia Catherine and Frances Rosalyn) slept in one room, and her parents and little sister (Antonia Johanna) slept in the other. Her older brother, Francis, and older sister, Theresia Antonia, passed away at different times from unrelated childhood diseases. Her family was very poor, and she was looked down upon by her schoolmates because her sandwiches were made from fresh baked bread and her dresses were handmade. Mary had to drop out of school after her sophomore year in high school in order to work and help support her family. She worked as a milliner and model for Sonnenfeld’s Millinery and Cloaks until she married Louie at 20. After Louie passed away at age 44 from pneumonia perpetuated by his battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; she worked as a lunch lady, a bus driver, sold Tupperware, and was supervisor of a St. Louis City dental clinic in order to support her two young children. Mary became a stepmother to two sets of stepchildren from her subsequent marriages, and stayed in contact with several of them until her death. She was a dental assistant for Dr. Henry Bollinger for over 20 years, and then worked as a Dierberg’s demo lady until she was 95. Mary lived in her home, with her son Jim, until the week before her death.
Mary always said, “We say so long, not good-bye” when departing from everyone she met as good-bye was the last thing Louie said to her before he died. She frequently quizzed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren on the few Bohemian phrases she learned from her Austrian immigrant father. For the last two decades of her life, she would frequently state that she was still here because “I’m too mean; He don’t want me”. All the chocolate she ate in her later years must have sweetened her up because she’s finally with her Lord and Savior, and after longing for half her life, has been reunited with her beloved Louie.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, six sisters and one brother, three husbands, beloved daughter, Carol Cira, and former son-in-law Francis Knoppe.
In lieu of flowers, Mass cards can be purchased from
Visitation (including Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet) at Little Flower Catholic Church (1264 Arch Terrace, Richmond Heights, MO 63117) Saturday, February 15, 2020, 9:00 a.m. until funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. A service of KUTIS AFFTON CHAPEL.