Mary Ann (Oberg) Peck Oesterreich passed away on Oct. 20, 2019, in Junction City, Kansas, at the age of 86. She was born June 30, 1933, in Dwight, Kansas, to Jack and Mabel (Anderson) Oberg. She had one brother, Bernard, 12 years older than she, who died in 1969. Mary graduated from Dwight High School in 1951.
Mary and Ray Peck were married October 1953. Their child, Nolan, was born in 1955. Mary would help with field work, take care of the animals and, of course, take care of Nolan, so that Ray could work at another full-time job. When Nolan was in school, Mary worked part-time at Rock Springs 4-H Center. But a favorite enjoyment was her own part-time job
of baking and decorating cakes upon request for special events such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc. She did this for approximately 20 years.
However, when asked recently if she could recall what was one of her very favorite things she had done as an adult, she said, without thinking very long, “Taking care of the pre-kindergarten children on Sunday mornings for about 10 years at Lyona .” Mary had attended Marion Hill Lutheran Church, Lyona Methodist Church and Woodbine Methodist Church-all based on where she was living at the time.
Mary’s life was turned upside-down when she and Ray were in a tragic accident on I-70 near Junction City, Kansas, on May 8, 1977. Ray was immediately killed, and Mary nearly died from serious injuries. Once she was healed and feeling up to it, she took on a full-time job at Dillon’s bakery in Junction City until shortly after her December 1980 marriage to
Delbert Oesterreich of Woodbine. Then, starting in 2000, Mary was caregiver for Delbert when dementia struck him, until his death in January 2006. Four years later, in September 2010, her son, Nolan, whom she had been living with after Delbert’s death, died after two months of severe illness. Through so much heartache, Mary still persevered until her health took a major turn in August of this year with a diagnosis of cancer. She lived her final weeks in Valley View Nursing Care of Junction City, while also having hospice care from Interim Healthcare.
Mary is survived by her stepchildren James, John and Teresa Oesterreich; grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews from the Oberg, Peck and Oesterreich families.
A private graveside service will be held.
Johnson Funeral Home, Junction City is assisting the family with arrangements.