Margaret Ann Tully Heller passed away quietly in her sleep on January 15, 2006. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Dr. Robert “Bob” Heller, Sr. D.D.S., on July 2, 2003, and continued to live in her home with the help of her children and her devoted caretaker, Valya, for whom the family will be forever grateful. Valentyna ‘Valya’ Arkhelyuk is from Ukraine, and has been with Margaret for the past year and a half, helping the family with her needs. The family is especially thankful to the Kenosha Hospice Alliance for its care, kindness and compassion.
Margaret was the middle child of seven born on February 24, 1916, to James E. and Alethea Tully; she lived all her life in Kenosha. Her father was a Judge for the County of Kenosha. The Tully family settled in Kenosha in the 1800s after leaving Ireland and were bricklayers responsible for many of the early Kenosha buildings. Marg, as she was known to her friends, was a beautiful dancer, and in her youth traveled in the summer to New York City with her teacher and fellow students. The trip took three days by train and each night the dance students would have prepared a show for the passengers and entertained them. Margaret loved to entertain throughout her life.
Marg met her husband, Bob in 8th grade. Marg’s grade school, St. James, had a party with the St. Thomas 8th grade where Bob went to school, and she immediately won him over with her deep blue eyes and wonderful smile. They married in Kenosha after he graduated from Marquette Dental School. During World War II, he served as an officer in the Pacific and she was home with their growing family of three children. They contributed to the now famous “baby boom” by adding four more children to their family for a total of seven.
Marg and Bob enjoyed golf, tennis and playing bridge with their life long Kenosha friends from grade school and Mary D. Bradford High School. She was a loving and supportive wife and mother and together they contributed in so many ways to Kenosha and to St. James Parish - the church that they both loved and where they raised their children. After their kids left home, they tried wintering in Florida, but gave up early on that. Kenosha was always their home and they were happy to shovel snow if it meant being near their friends and family.
Margaret is survived by her three sisters, Dorothy Iavello of Simi Valley, CA, Eileen Kent of Houston, TX, and Pat Baird of Boulder, CO. She was preceded in death by her beloved sister and best friend, Janet Newberry, and her brothers, James E. Tully, Jr. of Racine, and Don Tully of Jefferson. Her children in Kenosha are Dr. Robert (Buzz) Heller, Jr. D.D.S. (Mary Kae Hawkins Heller), Jane Whyte (Bill), Katie Wojtak (Barry), Patte Bleil (Bill) and Tom Heller (Deb Schultz Heller). Dr. Margaret Heller, D.C. resides in Mill Valley, CA, and Annie Wetherbee (Dan) in Sherman Oaks, CA. She has 19 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She was recently able to hold in her arms and flash her big, blue eyes at her most recent great grandchild, Brylie Rose Taffora, daughter of Brian and Kelli Heller Taffora.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, January 20th, from Proko Funeral Home at 9:00 am. Mass to be celebrated at St. James Catholic Church at 9:30 am. Interment to follow at St. James Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Thursday from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Proko Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Dr. Robert and Margaret Heller Scholarship Fund at St. Joseph High School. The family is especially thankful to the Kenosha Hospice Alliance.
When Irish eyes are smiling, sure, ‘tis like the morn in Spring
In the lilt of Irish laughter you can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling, sure they steal your heart away.
Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
Kenosha, WI 53144
Phone: (262) 654-3533