Mary Funk Stratman passed away peacefully Oct. 13, 2010, at Westchester Care Center in Tempe, Ariz., where she had been a resident for the past eight years.
Mary was the last surviving child of 13 children born to Peter B. and Mary (Remple) Funk of the rural Bruderthal Mennonite community near Hillsboro.
In 1930, Mary married a widower, Alex Stratman, of Hillsboro. Her instant family included Marjorie Stratman Pratt of Riverside, Calif., and Lola Stratman Washmon Savoia of Hillsboro.
Three children were born to Mary and Alex — Peggy Hunter of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Bob of Tempe, and Bill of Huntsville, Ala.
Mary was an accomplished homemaker. Her talents included knitting and award-winning sewing, baking, and gardening. Early in her married life she taught knitting to her daughters and their friends. Her sewing machine included a button hole-making attachment that she used to earn money to surprise husband Alex with a reclining lawn chair. She loved to bake French bread, coffee cake, sugar twists, and peppernuts at Christmas. There was always a baked treat to send along with visiting friends and family as they departed.
As Alex neared retirement in the 1960’s, she took a certified nurse aide course at Tabor College and went to work at the Hillsboro Home for the Aged. She ended her “care provider” career at Salem Hospital in Hillsboro at age 82 after more than 25 years of service. For many years she volunteered one day a week at Hillsboro Senior Center and the Et Cetera Shop on Main Street.
Throughout her life she enjoyed her vegetable garden and flower beds. Trips by car with Alex to visit family around the country were remembered by coming home with a special rock, plants, or cuttings from the locations they visited. The family home on South Lincoln Street was her showplace of flowers, plants, and shrubs for many years.
While in Hillsboro she was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church. She relocated to Arizona in 1999. Her home was Westchester Care Center in Tempe after her hip was broken in 2002. She realized her goal of celebrating her 100th birthday with a grand party on April 15, 2009.
She is survived by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren in many states and several foreign countries.
Family and friends will be invited to gather for a memorial and celebration service for Mary on April 15, 2011, in Hillsboro, which is the 102nd anniversary of her birth.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Mary’s name are requested to Westchester Care Center, 6100 South Rural Road Tempe, AZ 85283 or Salem Home, 704 S Ash St, Hillsboro, KS 67063.
Last modified Oct. 20, 2010