CENTRAL WEST END (KTVI) — Family, friends and a few Cardinals legends came to say goodbye to the wife of another Cardinals legend.
Lil Musial, the wife of Stan Musial, was remembered Monday afternoon at a funeral mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.
As her casket was carried into the church, Stan Musial, sitting is his wheelchair, watched inside the front door. The pair were high school sweethearts from back in Pennsylvania. They married and began a love story that lasted more than 72 years.
Several hundred mourners attended the mass, among them Cardinals vice-president and general manager John Mozeliak, and Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., along with his son, Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III.
“It was a very special family and to have the Musials be a part of the Cardinal family is a unique bond and it is a bond with the city and anytime you lose someone as special to the city and to this organization, it is difficult,” Mozeliak said.
Cardinals hall of fame members Ozzie Smith and Lou Brock were also in attendance.
“It is home going for Lil and we are sad to see her go but the fact is that she spent 91 years here on earth and people from this day forward will still remember all the good things she did while she was here on earth,” Brock said.
Bishop Richard Stika celebrated the mass. “I was her pastor for four years before I became a bishop and I used to kid her, her nickname with her family was sugar but she was kind of zesty so I used to say spice and they all agreed with me,” Stika said.
The funeral was followed by a private burial.
It is suggested that donations be sent to Villa Duchesene and Oak Hill School.
Mrs. Musial had last been seen publicly when Stan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Washington in 2011.
Of course her absence from his side was the exception rather than the rule. Musial was a constant in St. Louis over the years, just like Stan.
Lil Musial was known for her charity work around the community, as well as being the ever-present partner to the greatest Cardinal of them all.
Over the weekend, even Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, was thinking about the Musial family.
“So he sent me a Cardinals hat, autographed,” Dolan recalled of Stan, “and I got it there at the front of my house behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The tradition is you’re supposed to put the red Beretta that the Holy Father’s given you, you put that there at the entrance. But I’ve got the Cardinal hat signed by Stan Musial right next to the door. So my sympathies to him and his family.”
Lil Musial was 91 years old. She leaves behind Stan, four children, eleven grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren.