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Mary Sara McDonald Pascale

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Mary Sara McDonald Pascale died on August 16, 2019, in Chicago after a courageous and hard-fought battle against cancer. She was 64.

Born May 29, 1955, Mary was the daughter of the late Robert F. and Mary C. McDonald of Naperville, Illinois. Growing up as the fourth of their six children, Mary cherished being part of a big family and remained close to her siblings and family throughout her life.

Mary valued education and was a life-long learner. She graduated in 1973 from high school at Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois. After earning a bachelor's degree in education from Western Illinois University in 1977, she worked as a first grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School. In 1979, she received master's degrees in education and business administration. Mary then received a Juris Doctor degree in 1983 from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She frequently joked that her law degree was the only one she really needed because being a lawyer was such a good fit for her.

In one of her first legal jobs, Mary met her husband, Daniel Pascale. They were married on June 28, 1986, and spent many happy years together. Mary and Dan enjoyed restaurants and culture around Chicago. In 1993, they welcomed their son, Alexander. Mary loved being a mother, and the best years of her life were those she spent raising Alex.

For fourteen years, Mary worked as a career law clerk for the Hon. Ronald A. Guzman, a federal district court judge in Chicago. Because of her outgoing and friendly personality, Mary was well-known throughout the courthouse, and she made friends with nearly everyone who worked there. Mary then worked as an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago in the Federal Civil Rights Litigation Division for thirteen years. In this job, she defended the City's police officers and took more than 15 cases to trial - an accomplishment for any lawyer. Even after Mary "retired" in 2018, she worked part-time as an attorney at the Thomas More Society.

Mary never missed a family event or an opportunity to connect with friends over dinner, preferably at a BYOB restaurant with great food. She had a unique ability to bring people together and make sure everyone had a good time. Mary always saw the best in people and believed that her loved ones could do anything they put their minds to. She was a true friend and gave the best advice. People knew that if they needed someone to talk to or wanted to hear an encouraging perspective, they could count on Mary.

Mary lived a full and meaningful life. She loved to visit new places and traveled the world in her lifetime, including Hawaii, Russia, and cruises to Europe and the Caribbean. She especially enjoyed visiting Florida, Arizona, and anywhere else she could spend time with family. Mary was deeply religious and volunteered at her church, St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church. She mentored many young attorneys.

Mary leaves behind her husband Dan, son Alex, siblings Michaele, Patricia, Kevin, Mark, and Robert, and countless friends and family, who cannot imagine their lives without her.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, August 20, 2019, from 3 to 8 p.m., at McINERNEY CENTRAL CHAPEL, 4635 S. Wallace Street, Chicago, IL. A memorial service celebrating Mary's life will be held on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 11 a.m., at St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church, 1424 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, with visitation from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m.. The burial will be atGraceland Cemetery, with the reception to follow, 2 p.m., at The Racquet Club, 1365 N. Dearborn St., Chicago.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Cancer Research Institute at:

Please visit MARY MCDONALD PASCALE BOOK OF MEMORIES. To express your thoughts or memories in the online guest book, visit or For information, (773) 268-0703 or (773) 581-9000.