Mary Jean Waldkirch was born August 16, 1927 to Thomas and Lena Funk in Portland. She passed peacefully surrounded by her daughters on June 18, 2020, in McKinleyville.
Mary graduated from Lincoln High School and continued on to pursue her education as an administrative professional. After a whirlwind romance of only three weeks she married the love of her life, Walter Waldkirch, on August 31, 1947, and they began their life together in Orick.
In 1962, Mary and Walt decided to move to McKinleyville, where they built a life raising their four wonderful daughters. Together they owned and operated many successful businesses, including Walt Waldkirch Trucking, Shoreline Deli and Mart, Red Point Ranch, Waldkirch Equipment Sales, and a gold mine on the Forks of the Salmon River. Mary was in charge of managing the books, a responsibility she took very seriously, and did a wonderful job.
Mary was an active member of Arcata Soroptimists for the majority of her life, where she was well known for her homemade red velvet cakes, which were loved by all. She was a member of PTA, Beta Sigma Phi and volunteered at the Dow’s Prairie Library. Mary was an amazing cook and welcomed her large family for Sunday breakfasts and Wednesday night dinners until she was well into her 80s.
Mary enjoyed any opportunity to travel. Some of her favorite trips included South America, Hong Kong, Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, England, Singapore, New Zealand and the Philippines. One particular trip to Australia included a camel ride, which Mary described as the worst “sea sickness” she had ever experienced.
Aside from helping Walt manage the businesses, and her amazing cooking, Mary’s real pride was raising her daughters and being an amazing grandma.
Mary is preceded in death by her husband, Walter Waldkirch, her daughter and husband Kim and Bob Peterson, her brother and wife Lewis and Ruth Putnam. She is survived by her daughters Jenny Turner (Dave), Cindy Woolsey (Dick), Amber Dimmick (Tom), and grandchildren Lisa Smith (Brian), Josh Turner, Cheree Miller (John), Kristen Westfall (Graham), Ashley Peterson, Jen Hales (Geoff), Brian Woolsey, and great-grandchildren Tate and Bray Miller, Jack, Henry, Scarlett and Gracie Westfall, and Brynn and Maia Hales.
Due to the Coronavirus, Mary will have a private family service and burial at the Sunset Cemetary in Eureka. In her final days, Mary received amazing care from Dr. Julie Ohnemus, Hospice of Humboldt and the caring staff at Timber Ridge Assisted Living. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice of Humboldt.
Mary will be remembered for all of her wonderful traits; her generous spirit, her smile, ability to make everyone feel loved and welcome, and her beautiful dresses every day, even while camping. You will be forever missed until we see you again!
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