Mary Jo Rantanen, 43, of Staunton passed away at 12:05 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, at her residence in Staunton. She was born on June 7, 1975, in Litchfield, a daughter of Michael and Etta (Rogers) Morgan. She attended St. Michael’s School and graduated from Staunton High School with the class of 1993. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in broadcasting and journalism in 1998.
She followed her dream and moved to New York City and began working at MTV. She loved living in the big city. She returned home and began working at KSDK in St. Louis in 2001. On December 27, 2005, she married Joshua Rantanen on Eternity Beach in Hawaii. They are the parents of two children, Presley Erin and Wolfgang Edward.
On September 13, 2013, Mary was diagnosed with Stage 4 Her2 Positive Breast Cancer and began her battle. She began chemotherapy, radiation, and numerous surgeries. On May 12, 2015 Mary was told the cancer had spread to her brain. Throughout the fight, Mary remained positive and never complained. She was determined to beat every challenge cancer sent her way. With Guns N’ Roses playing in the background and bright red lipstick, Mary was a rock star in her battle. She was a fighter. Never once did she question “why me”? She continued to work full-time as much as her health allowed at KSDK. Her co-workers were family. She may not have always enjoyed the job, but she loved the people.
Besides her husband, parents, and children, she is survived by her sister, Teresa (Stephen) Struebig of Logan, Utah. Mary is also survived by Joshua’s family: father-in-law and mother-in-law, Dale & Helen Rantanen; and brothers-in-law, Regi, Mark (Angela) and Danny (Michelle) Rantanen. She is also survived by several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
She was loved and preceded in death by her grandparents, Peter & Mildred Rogers, Loretta Morgan, & Bud Morgan.
Visitation services will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 6, 2018, at the Net Community Church in Staunton. Funeral services will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Net Community Church in Staunton. Private burial will take place at a later date in Memorial Park Cemetery in Staunton. Memorial donations are suggested to Mary’s children. Williamson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.