An Extraordinary Life: Medical center to honor volunteer, mother of 10
BY DENISE M. BARAN-UNLAND Correspondent October 6, 2013 7:34PM
Marge Quoss | Supplied photo
Updated: November 8, 2013 6:16AM
There wasn’t a selfish bone in her body.
That’s how Diane Dowd of Pennsylvania described her mother, Marge Quoss of Joliet. Marge met Dean Quoss, “the man of her dreams,” on a blind date, married him and then found time to serve her community while raising their 10 children.
In 2006, the Joliet Rotary Club honored Marge with its Silver Eagle Award. On Oct. 17, Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet will host a memorial for Marge’s family. A plaque will hang in the gift shop in honor of Marge’s 50-plus years of serving the hospital’s auxiliary, said Marge’s daughter, Joan Quaresima of Joliet.
“Everyone from the president to the coffee shop girls to the janitors and security guards were her good friends,” Quaresima said. “If the pink smock was on, she was sure to have a smile on her face.”
Marge, who scoffed at naps — her afternoon “sinking spell” on the living room floor didn’t count, Dowd said — was a powerhouse of energy.
All 10 children attended St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School in Joliet; all 10 delivered the Herald-News to learn “responsibility, service, bookkeeping and banking skills” (Marge helped fold and rubberband the newspapers and drove the kids during inclement weather); all 10 graduated from college, Dowd said.
Moreover, Marge also delegated chores, oversaw homework and the family’s finances, woke the family on Sunday mornings by playing the piano and then cooked big Sunday dinners after Mass, led Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops and played Parcheesi in the evening, Dowd said.
Amid the activity, Dowd said, Marge also worked part time at Sunshine Foods and Markelz Office Products, both in Joliet. She bowled, played bridge, gardened and created crafts for the St. Joseph Medical Center auxiliary (where she served three terms as president and co-president for seven years) and to sell at local craft fairs.
“She loved to drink her morning coffee, staring out the kitchen window at all the birds eating from her feeder,” Quaresima said. “The cardinal was her favorite.”
When plans fell apart or during times of sadness — especially after Dean’s death from brain cancer in 1984 at the age of 59 — Marge’s favorite saying was, “It’s going to be all right. Tomorrow is another day.”
“And she was right,” Dowd said. “We all lived through whatever heartaches we had at the time, always with our mom by our side.”
Perhaps Marge’s energy emanated from her interior convictions. Deeply Catholic up until her death on Oct. 21, 2012, at the age of 86, Marge faithfully attended Mass, prayed the rosary and admired the pope, so much so that she kept a photograph of him on her windowsill next to her many prayer cards, Quaresima said.
“She lived her life with severe scoliosis most of her life,” Quaresima said, “yet most people never knew because she never complained about it.”
To nominated someone to be featured in “An Extraordinary Life,” contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-467-5249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.