Mary A. Dichtel
February 27, 1938 - November 19, 2008
Mary Antoinette Cummings was born in Chicago on February 27, 1938, the only daughter of Nicholas and Mary (Donnelly) Cummings. She lost her father when she was a toddler and was raised by her strong, Irish Catholic mother. Her mother was forced to work full time in downtown Chicago through the 1940s and 1950s to support them, leaving Mary primarily in the care of neighbors and family members. Mary's fiercely independent mother taught her early lessons about hard work, right and wrong, and how to tell a good Irish joke.
Mary grew up in an apartment on Kenmore Avenue in the DePaul neighborhood. She attended St. Vincent DePaul grade school and Immaculata Catholic High school near Irving Park and Lake Michigan. Attending high school in Wrigleyville, made it convenient to head over to the Friendly Confines after school . . .