Mary Welk was one of those people in life who made everyone feel special. Growing up in Bradford, IL, as the fourth of five children, Mary was known, even at an early age, for her smile, which could brighten any room. Mary went on to study teaching at Northern Illinois University. After graduating, she moved to Muscatine, IA, where she married and spent many years raising a family of her own. After retiring, she and Ron, her husband of 51 years, moved to Omaha, NE, to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Mary was the ‘fun’ aunt, friend, teacher, and mom. From ziplines and water slides with her nieces, to roller coasters with her kids, and endless card games with her friends and sisters – Mary never turned down a good time. And nothing slowed her down. She could bike for miles, refinish any type of furniture, play golf with the best of them - all while caring for her family and dialyzing her husband on the side. On top of all that, she poured her heart into teaching – motivating and inspiring both teachers and students alike for more than 35 years. She was a woman who not only celebrated the blessings in life, but she also helped other people through their own hardships.
No one loved a good story more than Mary. Her stories were bigger than life and full of the same vivacity that she brought to everything she did. She loved talking about her family and her contagious energy will be missed by everyone she leaves behind, especially her two children, Matt Welk and Mandy Hawks, four grandchildren, and siblings, Carolyn Judge, Cathy Foutch, Ann Ramsey and Jim Laurenti.
Mary is now at peace, joining her husband, Ron, who passed away a year ago, and her parents, Charles and Laverna Laurenti. It brings her loved one’s great joy knowing the four of them will be dancing and gabbing for all of eternity.
Much like many of Mary’s colorful stories, this tribute could go on without end and still fail to fully honor this remarkable woman. A celebration of life will be held at a later date where we can laugh, share stories, and honor Mary Welk.
In lieu of flowers and to honor Mary, please donate to the Alzheimer’s Association: http://act.alz.org/goto/welk