Our Family Stories


Mary Stephonia (Stella) Dedic

Hairdresser, Bookbinder, Printer, Mother, Grandmother

17 January 1917 - 17 May 2006

Mary was born on 17 January 1917 in Saint Louis, Missouri.  She was the forth child of Christ Dedic and Antica Peric who had immigrated from Kampor on the Island of Rab, Dalmatia, Croatia, Austro-Hungarian Empire.   She attended Saint Joseph Croatian Parish until the family moved to the Saint George Parish in Saint Louis County, Missouri.

Mary grew up in the Carondelet area of south Saint Louis with sister Annie and brothers, Joe and Tony.  She attended Saint George Catholic School and graduated the eighth grade.  She continued her education in general cosmetology and became a licensed beautician.  She was very successful.  Mary was employed at high-end shops in Clayton, Missouri and even owned her own beauty shop. 

Mary changed her middle-name from Stephonia to Stella to be more stylish.  However, her granddaughter was named Stephany in her honor.

Mary met her husband, John Dickerson Burch at a dance.  She married John on 4 Sep 1943 in Saint George's Catholic Church, Afton, Saint Louis County, Missouri.  They lived in the area and shared a two family flat with Mary's brother Joe and his wife.  As their family grew, they moved to a larger two family flat with Mary's sister Annie and her husband, Charles Denker.  Eventually, they moved to a house in Saint John's Parish.  Mary and John had two children, Patricia Ann and Phillip Michael. 

After John's death in 1962,  Mary became a single mother with two young children just approaching their teen years.  Mary worked hard to insure that her children would have everything they needed to thrive and grow.  She encouraged them to seek higher education.  Mary worked at home in  "cottage industry" jobs and even started working full-time in the printing industry as a book binder to make ends meet. Her children would grow-up to become a Professional Civil Engineer and a Medical Doctor.                            

Mary and her son, Phillip moved in and took over ownership of Patricia's house in Richmond Heights, Missouri, when Pat went back to complete her Civil Engineering studies in 1973.  Mary would eventually give Phillip full title of the house.  Phillip started a major renovation of his house in 2002.  The improvements would enlarge the first floor and create a bedroom and bathroom for her.   She would live in the house until her death in 2006.

Mary enjoyed walking, she often would walk over five to ten miles a day even as she approached her middle seventies.  She took part-time jobs to keep herself busy in her later years. 

Mary died in her sleep on May 17, 2006 at her home in Richmond Heights, Missouri.  She was buried next to her husband, John on May 20, 2006 in the Resurrection Cemetery and Mausoleum, St. Louis, Missouri.


Death Notice St. Louis Post-Dispatch  5/18/2006.

Mary S. (Dedic) Burch

Burch, Mary S. (nee Dedic) Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at the age of 89 years.
Beloved mother of Patricia Ann (James) Hanson and Phillip Michael Burch; dear grandmother of Stephanie Dawson and James Hanson, Jr; dear sister-in-law, aunt, great-aunt and friend of many.Services: Funeral Saturday, May 20, 11 a.m. HOWARD H. MICHEL Funeral Home, 5930 Southwest at Hampton. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Mary was a retired printer. Visitation Friday 3-9 p.m.

Published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on 5/18/2006.


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Last Updated 24 July 2007