By Stephanie Malench
Former Times-Tribune editor and reporter for over 30 years and lifelong Troy volunteer Mae Grapperhaus passed away on Saturday, June 5 at the age of 82 at Morningside of Troy.
There was not a part of the Troy community that Grapperhaus was not involved in, and not a single resident’s life she did not touch.
On learning of Grapperhaus’ passing, former Troy mayor Allen Adomite commented “a real Troy titan has left this world” and reminisced “I used to tell Mae that she was the matriarch of Troy. She didn’t understand that people like Jim and Mae Grapperhaus were larger-than-life citizens in their contributions to Troy in the eyes of younger residents. She simply knew more about the DNA of how our Troy community is built than any other single person I have ever met. She was a force in local journalism, history-keeping, and simply knew the right time to send a note of thanks or gratitude or encouragement”.
Current mayor and former Tri-Township park board president Dave Nonn had this to say about Grapperhaus. “The residents of Troy have lost a pillar of our community. A mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, journalist, mentor, teacher, and historian. Mae’s passion for life and love of her community will live on in the friends and family that she has touched forever. Out thoughts and prayers are with the Grapperhaus family”.
Dawn Mushill, Executive Director of the Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob/Marine Chamber of Commerce reflected on her relationship with “Mrs. Troy” as the Chamber’s “go to for anything- Troy history, the Times-Tribune, local civic organization news, Jarvis Township information, her desire of building a museum- and more”.
Mushill “first met Mae on my second day on the job as the Chamber Director, in a town for which I knew ZERO people. I remember she walked into my office, held out her hand and said ‘hi, I am Mae Grapperhaus, it is a pleasure to meet you. I hope you will be with us for a long time’. Who would know at that time that we would develop a great friendship and be involved in so many events throughout the years! She always had a smile waiting and a nice hug. I knew Mae’s home telephone number by heart (and still do). I knew that if I had any questions, she could answer them off the top of her head. And if she could not (which was rare), I would receive a call back within an hour with the exact information I needed. She had a network like no others. She would call Mayor Caraker and he would always answer ‘there is my Daisy Mae’. He had a very high level of respect for her and she earned it! Mae will be missed by so many. She has family throughout the community. She was a Mersinger and a Grapperhaus and an absolutely wonderful person. I will cherish the notes from Mae and the phone calls just to check in. We had some great times. Our prayers are with the family. Know that she loved every single one of you very much”.
Grapperhaus was editor for the Times-Tribune for about 20 years until her “retirement” in 2008. She continued writing for nearly 10 more years, contributing to the “It Happened Here” history page and reporting on meetings until she was injured on a cruise in 2017 and unable to return to work.
Masja LaRue, who began working at the Times-Tribune in 2014 as proofreader and receptionist, as well as a member of the Troy Genealogy Society, said “Mae taught me the local history of Troy. She and I would talk about that and about her trip to the Netherlands where she met one of her distant relatives, Ferdinand Grapperhaus. She will be missed by all here in Troy”.
Paul Ping, who owned the Times-Tribune until 2019 said “she was always a very loyal reporter and I counted on her quite a bit. She was so reliable you took her for granted”.
Ping’s daughter Sue Yates not only worked at the paper with Grapperhaus but lived around her her whole life. “She was a joy to work with and was talented in many different areas. Because of all of her connections to the community, she was really good at getting all the details for stories”.
Visitation for Mae will be 4 to 8 pm Tuesday, June 8, and 9 to 10 am Wednesday, June 9, at St. Jerome Catholic, Troy, IL
Funeral mass will be held at 10 am on Wednesday, June 9 2021 at St. Jerome Catholic Church with Fr. Kevin Laughery officiating. Interment will be in St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Black Jack, IL.
Memorials may be made to St. John The Baptist Chapel, St. John the Baptist Cemetery or the Troy
Historical Society. Online expressions of sympathy may be made at www.Richesonfh.com
Richeson Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.