Marie Cahoy was born May 24, 1932 on the farm near Tabor. She was the third of seven children born to Rudolph (Rudy) and Ella (Pishek) Cahoy. She attended Koupal District 24 Country School for two years. For the next six years during the school year she stayed at her grandparents' home in Tabor to attend St. Wenceslaus Catholic School. After graduating eighth grade, she was planning to attend high school but her parents wanted her to continue babysitting for the neighboring farmer.
Marie often spoke of the work and fun they had on the farm. As a young teen she loved dancing and attending wedding dances with her parents and siblings. At one particular wedding, she met a good-looking guy from Tyndall. Even her mother encouraged her to dance with him! She ended up marrying him, Leonard Hisek, on October 18, 1949 in Tabor, SD at the young age of 17 1/2 years. She never looked back!
Marie and Leonard had many friends, danced, played cards and enjoyed life. Marie bowled for many years on the Tyndall Hatchery team, racking up many good scores, championships and a whole lot of laughter. In her retirement years she enjoyed coffee time with the neighbor ladies and an occasional trip to the casino.
They had three daughters, Janice, Connie and Shelly and loved them unconditionally. Marie excelled at being a mother to the girls. She taught them all she knew about baking, sewing, cooking, cleaning, working and growing flowers. She also taught them how to be decent people, enjoy life and handle hardships. Their dad had the personality that was noticed first, but Marie was the practical force needed in the equation of life.
Marie worked at various jobs including Riven's Grocery Store, Tyndall Hatchery, Shady Rest Motel, South Central Coop, Dairy Queen and assisting Leonard at the public school with cleaning. Eventually she was a clerk at the Tyndall Post Office for 22 years, retiring in 1998.
Marie was a charter member of the VFW Auxiliary, which was started 70 years ago. She participated in many of their activities and was a lifetime member. She also was a member of St. Leo's Catholic Church since marriage. Her faith, rosary and weekly Mass was of utmost priority.
As Alzheimer's began to affect her memory, she and Leonard moved to the Good Samaritan Center in April of 2017. Leonard passed away in 2018. Marie was blessed to have many wonderful caregivers and residents she knew. As time went on, everyone became a friend or relative. She remained upbeat until the end.
Marie celebrated her 89th birthday on May 24 and then she began a deep decline. She survived cancer, Covid and a year of isolation, only to have other health issues join together to weaken her body.
A week before she died, her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren came to see her and give her the moments of joy we grew to cherish. But she proved to us that she would go on her own time. She passed away at peace in the early hours of June 8 with Connie, Roger and her Good Samaritan family at her bedside with Czech music quietly playing.
She is survived by her daughters: Jan (Pete) O'Toole of Fayetteville, NC, Connie (Roger) Svanda of Tyndall and Shelly (Dan) Lewis of North Sioux City, SD; six grandchildren: Patrick (Gina) O'Toole, Dawn O'Toole, Christopher (Jamie) Svanda, Cory (Tabitha) Svanda, Carly Svanda, Aubrie Wauhob: great grandchildren: Carly O'Toole, Connor O'Toole, Carter Small and Nicole Svanda; her sister Marcy (Lumir) Ruman of Tyndall and brother Steve (Janice) Cahoy of Tabor; sisters-in-law Marilyn Cahoy of Tabor and Mary Jane Hisek of Yankton and many other nieces, nephews, friends (especially Michele Culver Smith, her "other" daughter) and relatives.
She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; parents-in-law, James and Emma Hisek; brothers: Ray, Ed and Joseph (in infancy); sister, Helen Maruska and many brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.