Obit: Virginia O’Meara

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Virginia Coffey O’Meara of West Bend, Wisconsin, died on March 6, 2016, in the company of her extended family. Out of respect for her view that a woman’s age is her own business, it will be noted that she had 5 great grandchildren.

Virginia was born and spent her childhood in Wauwatosa, and graduated from Holy Angels Academy and Marquette University. She taught at North Division High School in Milwaukee following her graduation. She married Stephen M. O’Meara on June 5, 1948, and moved to West Bend where her husband practiced law in the O’Meara and O’Meara law firm. She was the mother of seven sons – Michael (Valerie) of Stevens Point, WI, S. Charles (Karen) of West Bend, Bill (Mame) of Orono, MN, Kevin (Katie) of West Bend, Gregory O’Meara, S.J., of Creighton University in Omaha NE, Denis (Meghan) of White Plains, NY, and James (Lisa) of Denver, CO. She was a loving and encouraging grandmother of sixteen grandchildren, and her great grandchildren. Her husband Stephen died in 1996. She missed him.

Her parents, William L. Coffey and Mary Elizabeth Coffey of Wauwatosa, WI had ten children, of whom Virginia was the youngest. None of her siblings survive her. Her father served for many years as the Director of the Milwaukee County Institutions in Wauwatosa.

She lived an active life, and encouraged her family to do the same. She was a practicing Catholic, and among other activities served for many years on her parish school board. She later was elected to the School Board of the West Bend Joint School District, where she stressed the need to support academic quality ahead of extracurricular activities. Her sassy sense of humor endeared her to many friends, including among others the “Sunshine Girls” and the “Tennis Belles.” She exhibited an easy kindness to friends and strangers, but was known to be direct in her manner of communication. Among the everyday scenes of her life were cheering for Marquette basketball teams, baking apple pies , picking fresh flowers, attending key events of her children and grandchildren’s lives, walking in her neighborhood on fall afternoons, and inviting others to share dinner.

In addition to family members, special thanks were in order for the assistance of Barbara Berger and Mark Hautemaki in her later years. The family also extends its gratitude to Virginia’s primary care physician of many years, Dr. Frank McCann, as well as Dr. Gary Herdrich and the staff of Kathy Hospice at St. Joseph’s Hospital – Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks friends to consider contributions to Marquette University, West Bend Columns Scholarship Fund, Holy Angels School Trust Fund, Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary Retirement Fund, and Religious of the Cenacle.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Angels Church in West Bend at 6 pm on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, which will be preceded by visitation at the church beginning at 3 pm. Burial will be in Holy Angels Cemetery.

The Schmidt Funeral Home of West Bend is serving the family. On-line guestbook and condolences available at


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