Margaret H. Weis
After 106 years of a life lived to its full, supported by strong principles and a strong faith, Margaret Weis passed away quietly November 15, 2023. She died at peace, in her sleep, surrounded by family in which she invested so much of herself.
She was, aptly described by the famous phrase, “a legend in her own time,” at least to her six children who survive her: Mary, Dick (Lynn), Leslie (Larry) Guillot, Jim, Peg (Dale) Jones, Jeanne (Gregg) Renna. All are awed by her spirit and ability to retain a storehouse of family stories and memories. Her family tree looked more like a forest. She had 16 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren, dozens and dozens of nieces, nephews, and family relations.
Born April 4, 1917, to John and Catherine Shanahan into a strong Irish heritage not far from the old Grand Avenue water tower. She was preceded in death by all her siblings: Catherine Sueme (Emmett), John (Marie), Kenny (Mary), Jim (Betty), Tom (Billy), and Nancy Handing (Earl). Two of the Shanahan children, Marie Sylvia and William died in early childhood. Later, two cousins from St. Genevieve came to live with them, Marie and Helen Flynn.
Margaret was especially close to her older sister, Catherine. Mom always said Catherine was the only one who could verify her remembrances. Her lifelong love of reading was fostered by her father, who read books to and with her in the basement while they were doing the family wash. Later, this would underpin her enthusiasm for the education of her own children.
She graduated from Rosati Kain High School in 1934. Margaret found a clerical job at Prudential where she picked up office skills that would be put to good use years later with accounting for family budgets and for the family business. She married Leslie (Les) Weis on May 9, 1939. With families deep in the Depression, only someone who believed (really believed) in “happily ever after” would do that.
Les and Marge Weis started Weis Bros’ Market, a successful grocery business, in 1947 much later to downsize to Weis Bros’ Meat Market. They raised and educated six children, modeled Christian parenting, were supportive grandparents and kind to friends and neighbors. All this in less than 47 years together. We saw a wonderful team and a loving couple.
Les Weis died October 19, 1984. In the succeeding 40 years, Margaret has:
Continued to keep in touch with and remember the birthday/wedding dates, and conversations of apparently hundreds of relatives, near relatives, past neighbors, and school chums.
Moved several times.
Observed Holy Days of Obligation and kept meatless Fridays.
Decided to stop driving before she hit anything big.
Volunteered for years at DePaul Clinic and St. Cletus elementary school.
Kept a ready list of tasks for whenever one of her daughters came to visit.
Rosati Kain marked her 100th birthday by sending Margaret’s report cards and poems she wrote for the yearbook. Mom never lost her love for the Catholic church, for wanting to hear about all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and we will always remember that snappy wit.
Now her family would like to celebrate her life at a Mass at the Old Cathedral. The visitation will be at Basilica of St. Louis, King of France from 9-10am, November 29, 2023 followed by mass at 10am. We will then proceed to Calvary Cemetery Chapel. The family request no flowers but suggest a contribution instead to: Rosati-Kain Academy or St. Louis Children’s Hospital.