Obituary of Mary Therese Comer
Mary Therese (Terry) Middono Comer passed away peacefully in her sleep July 15, 2020 after enjoying a full and vibrant life of 91 years. She was a beloved daughter, spouse, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, as well as being a talented musician (piano), singer, music teacher and choir director. Terry was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Cecilia (Rinie) Middono and by her husband, William P. Comer, Sr. She is survived by her children, Constance Pechura (James Ingram), William P. Comer, Jr (Kathleen), Judith Comer-Schultz, Thomas Comer (Mary Lou) and RJ Comer (Deborah Rosenthal).
She is also survived by 13 grandchildren: Stephanie Pechura, William Comer III, Jennifer Ellingsen (Mike), Julianna Pfingstler (Adam), Megan Van Hover (Craig), Ellen Arigo, Hilary Wilkie (Kevin), Thomas Schultz Jr (Shayna Nelson), Terrence Schultz, Franklin Comer, Tommy Comer (Kara), Alexandra Comer, and Ryan Comer.
She also leaves 19 great-grandchildren: Kyrsten, Ashley, Billy IV, Zachary, Logan, Aurora, Jayden, Francesca, Chyleise, William (Chanel), Katherine, Lauren, Joanna (Daniel), Khyle, Therese, Addison, Mickey, Georgia, and Jolynne. A passionate dog lover, she is survived by her beloved Golden Retriever, Buddy.
Born in Oak Park, Illinois and raised in Chicago, she showed her musical talents early and was teaching piano by 8th grade at her own school St Ferdinand’s Catholic in Chicago. She sang for the USO during WWII and in 1944 at age 16 she sang a duet with Gene Autry in a USO Show in Soldier’s Field. Her beloved high school years were spent at the Notre Dame High School for Girls in Chicago. Throughout her high school years she volunteered at Hine’s Veteran’s Hospital in Chicago spending time with young patients who had returned from the war with devastating injuries. After high school, she studied at the Chicago Musical College.
In June of 1949 she married William Comer and together they eventually made their home in Libertyville Illinois. In Libertyville, she served as Music Director for St. Joseph Catholic Church and as a K-8 Music teacher and Choir Director for St. Joseph Catholic School, in addition to guiding private piano and organ students. In the 1970s, she taught music privately in West Bend WI and at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Newburg, WI.
Later in life, Terry worked for IBM in the Los Angeles California area and for SAIC in Tucson Arizona. She earned a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Arizona and a Graduate Certificate in Music Therapy at Arizona State University. Her management of the defense security protocols at SAIC Tucson earned her the prestigious Cogswell Award. The Cogswell Award is the most prestigious honor the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) can bestow to a cleared industry contractor. Of the more than 13,000 cleared contractors in the National Industrial Security Program (NISP), less than 1% are annually selected to receive this award.
In Tucson, she continued to teach private students in piano and voice and enjoyed using her musical therapy skills working with residents of Handmaker Senior Living community. While in Tucson, she was a parishioner at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Over the years she was an accompanist and singer for local shows & gigs at Moorpark College (CA), Westlake Village (CA), Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort (AZ), and the Actor’s Studio (AZ).
Terry’s passion in life was her family and music. She inspired many, including her own family, to appreciate a wide range of music from Classical to Classic rock, Broadway musicals, Big Band Swing to Jazz and the Blues. She was always ready to listen to her extended family members and was a supportive and loving presence in our lives. She was an optimist by nature, loved all of her friends and she so much enjoyed a Martini and laughing with her dear friend Ellen Jennings of Libertyville. There really aren’t enough words to express how much she will be missed.
Her message to all was always to keep music in your lives in any way that brings you happiness.
A memorial Mass and Celebration of her Life will be held in Spring at St. Joseph’s in Libertyville, Illinois. Her ashes will then be interred with her husband, William, at Ascension Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 701 E. Columbia Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45215-3999 or online at https://6790.thankyou4caring.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=298To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Comer, please visit Tribute Store