Maralyn was born in Greeley, Nebraska to Walter Aloysius and Mary Vincent (Sargent) McSharry on April 9, 1935, where she spent her first years of childhood before moving with her family to West Seattle, WA.
She attended Holy Rosary School in West Seattle, and thereafter moved to Spokane, WA where she attended Holy Names College.
Shortly after moving to Spokane, Maralyn met James Bertis, the man who would become her husband.
As a member of the Excelsior Club, Jim was performing in a talent show; Maralyn was his accompanist.
Jim and Maralyn were married in West Seattle on September 24th, 1955 and celebrated 58 years of marriage.
Together they raised eleven children, enjoyed regular family road trips, and had many joyous sing-alongs.
Maralyn was a devoted wife and mother, an exceptional grandmother, a supportive mother-in-law, a loving sister, and a caring friend.
From the births of her grandchildren, to supporting her children’s and children’s spouses’ endeavors, to helping her friends, she loved to be in service to others whenever possible.
Maralyn always provided a feast for her family and guests, with much of the produce harvested from their own vegetable garden.
She delighted in a house full of people enjoying a meal together.
Her grandson Connall remembers fondly that “she made great soup!”
She welcomed everyone into her home, and into her life, with an open and loving heart.
Over the years, many friends of her children grew to love her as a second mother.
Maralyn was an inspiration to her husband, always supporting his successes.
She was instrumental in their residential rental business, insisting that they do as much as possible to provide beautiful, safe, and well-cared for homes for hundreds of people in the Spokane area.
They received many notes of thanks over the years from grateful tenants in appreciation of their efforts.
She worked hard, and put her heart into any undertaking, and was also able to enjoy much-deserved breaks from her work.
In 1983, Jim and Maralyn took a long-delayed Honeymoon vacation to Europe, visiting Germany, Austria, Italy, France, and England.
They twice returned to Italy, having the pleasure of meeting Jim’s family there and also traveled to Ireland hoping to find Maralyn’s ancestors.
Their final transatlantic journey was to Scotland.
They ventured over the Pacific four times to enjoy the warm sands and expansive vistas of Hawaii.
Several of their children live in other cities, and they traveled many happy miles to see them whenever possible.
Maralyn had many loves.
She was profoundly spiritual and loved God fervently, always striving to know Him more.
She felt a deep connection to Mother Mary and her Rosary was never far from her.
Maralyn came from a very musical family and had a boundless passion for music, teaching piano lessons to children and teaching choir at St. John Vianney Catholic School in Spokane Valley.
She played both the piano and the organ for services and special occasions at St. John Vianney Church for more than forty years.
She often said that music was a great healing force in her life.
When she was just sixteen, she traveled with her sisters Jan and Rita to New York City to sing on the Fred Waring Show to a national audience.
Her musical brilliance has been her legacy, passed on to all of her children as well as to her grandchildren.
Maralyn also loved to garden.
One of her favorite places to rest was in her shade garden.
She grew fragrant roses and robust garlic.
Her granddaughter Madison’s favorite memory of her grandmother is sitting with her in the rose garden, having tea.
In her own words, Maralyn expressed gratitude to all of her family and friends who gave her so much love, care, and support throughout her life.
She felt extremely blessed.
She saw her life as an adventure, bringing so many blessings along with the challenges.
It was a privilege for her to play music at her church, and working with the choir and the director was deeply satisfying and joyful.
She loved belonging to the very loving St. John Vianney parish faith community.
We will remember mom as a healer, a mystic, a progressive, strong, determined, energetic, silly, generous, loving, supportive, intelligent, inquisitive, young at heart, creative, courageous, and beautiful.
We will miss her tremendously.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Mary; and her sister, Theresa.
She is survived by her husband, Jim; her children, Victor James (Mary Beth) Bertis, Loretta Mary Bertis, David Walter Bertis, Joan Therese (Craig) Hunt, Patrick McSharry (Karen) Bertis, Maria Suzanne Bertucci, Kevin Thomas (Susan) Bertis, Tamara Cristine (David) Bertucci Nieto, Elle McSharry, Monica Erin Caileen (Barry Pfundt) Bertucci, Elisabeth Rose Bertucci (Scott) Manley; her grandchildren, James, Sarah, Mia, Ali, Madison, Kyle, Zack, Wyatt, Connall, Eleanor, and Vivian; and her siblings AnnaMae Livingston, Dr. Agnes Brandabur, Roger McSharry, Janis McSharry, Rita Rambo, and Carol McSharry.
A memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 9, at St. John Vianney Church, followed by a reception.
Visitation will take place at Hennessey Funeral Home at 1315 N. Pines Rd.
on Friday, November 8, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. A Rosary is planned for Friday evening, November 8, at 7:00 p.m. at St. John Vianney Church, located at 503 N. Walnut Rd., Spokane Valley, WA.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to: The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church, 6910 S Ben Burr Rd Spokane, WA 99223 or, Sisters of the Holy Names, 2911 W Fort George Wright Dr., Spokane, WA 99224 To view Maralyn’s online memorial please visit www.hennesseyfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements entrusted to: