Mary Ann Birg

Mary Ann Birg was born in Detroit in 1909 to Frank and Sophie Birg.

Mary was the only daughter and fourth of five children. Her siblings were John Anthony (1899-1973 b. Heufeld); Franz Martin (4/1904-11/1904 Heufeld); Michael Franz aka Jack (1907-1935 b. Heufeld); and Joseph (1914-1965 b. Detroit).

When Mary was nine, her brother John married Katherine Schumacher, a family that – like Mary’s – was also from the Banat. (Read more about Banat in About Sophie). Little did she know at the time how this union would lead to her future union with Laurence Moquin.

Mary’s father, Frank,  was battling TB.  The family spent time in Bad Ax with the Schumachers hoping the country air would benefit his condition. But in 1921, Frank passed away. The family returned to Detroit and in 1922, Mary’s mother, Sophie, remarried.

Mary, Michael and Joseph spent some time in Kalamazoo working on a farm relating in some way to her step-father, George. It was here that Mary met and had a friendship with a girl she called Silly. She shared stories of them working together.

Upon their return to Detroit, and Sophie’s and Joseph’s departure to Wyoming, Mary went to live her brother John and his wife Kate. She started work as tele-operator at J.L. Hudson’s.

Kate’s sister, Anna was soon to marry Laurence Moquin. Tragically, Anna died after giving birth to their son, Lawrence Moquin.

Mary went to live with Kate and Anna’s sister, Lizzie, also in Detroit. She and Laurence began dating and were married in August 1930. They raised young Lawrence and two daughters, Lucille and Janet.

Mary and Laurence became owners of the farm and planned to retire there. Sadly, Laurence’s life ended prematurely due to cancer. Mary owned the property up until her death in 2003.

From Mary, her children and grandchildren learned to cook, bake, sew, knit, garden, revere God and enjoy life. Her spirit blooms in all of us.

Laurence Moquin and Mary Birg (Aug 1930)
Silly – Kalamazoo
Laurence and Mary
Mary and Kate
Lucy, Mary, Janet

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