Great Lakes National Cemetery

Ann C. Mrdeza, age 95 of Shelby Township, MI passed away on January 10, 2024.
Ann was born on May 12, 1928 to parents Dragotin (Charles) and Katarina (nee Rupcic) Puskaric in McKeesport, PA. Her father had come here through Ellis Island from Croatia and found work at US Steel's National Tube Works in McKeesport as a laborer.

There he met, Paul Rupcic, who had a sister in Croatia named Katerina (Kata). After some discussion and arrangements, Dragotin sent for her, and they were married soon afterwards. The two had four children, but Ann did not have an easy childhood as her mother passed away when she was only 5 years old. Her father worked full time, so Ann, her two sisters and brother, moved into a two-bedroom home with her Aunt Agnes and Uncle Paul Rupcic and their 4 children.

After graduating McKeesport High School, Ann did a bit of modeling. She attended the Victoria Modelling School and did a few shows, modeled in department stores and even went to the state fair. She would go to the local amusement park, Kennywood, and it was there she met William (Bill) Mrdeza who lived in neighboring Duquesne.

Bill and Ann began to date and were soon engaged but shortly after, Bill was drafted into the Army for the Korean War conflict. He returned from the military and the two were married on August 15, 1953. After having their first child, Bill Jr, they moved to Seattle, WA for 6 years where Bill worked for Boeing. Ann gave birth to Brian and Scott, then the family moved to Michigan where Leigh Ann was born. Ann was a full-time mom for much of her life, wiping runny noses, changing diapers and keeping the kids in line.

Ann was a member of Croatian Fraternal Union Lodge #3. She enjoyed skiing, golfing, bowling, knitting and sewing. Ann was very outgoing and sociable. She joined St. Kieran Parish as a member in 1964 where she served on the Rosary Altar Society for many years. She also led a team providing funeral lunches at St Keiran for several years. Ann also volunteered at hospitals. She loved her home and neighborhood where you could find her tending the flowerbeds, dressed for Halloween or just enjoying time on the patio overlooking the lake. In her later years, she joined the Red Hats where she enjoyed local functions and travel. After 66 years of marriage, she lost the love of her life, Bill, in 2020.

Ann was the loving mother of Bill (Lisa Hadden) Mrdeza, Brian (Margaret) Mrdeza, Scott (Susan) Mrdeza and Leigh Ann (Jim) Boyd.

She is also survived by 8 loving grandchildren, Doug, Ryan (Anna), Sam, Chad, Dillon (Sage), Hugh, Mark Luke and the late Andrew, along with 4 great-grandchildren, Vinnie, Lennon, Eden and Parker.

FOTO: Private

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