Mary Frances Waddell Hand was born in Pawnee City, Nebraska, on July 12, 1929, to Walter E. Waddell and Marie Wilson Waddell. She died on Friday July 30, 2021, just 18 days after her 92nd birthday!
Mary attended Kennedy School District 13 Elementary School in Pawnee City, Nebraska and graduated from Pawnee City High School in 1946. Mary was employed in the Pawnee County Treasurer’s Office in Pawnee City, Nebraska, where she served. assistant for nearly ten years. Mary also worked for several years at the Consumers Public Power District, now known as the Nebraska Public Power District, where she has met her husband for 39 years. She then worked as a bank manager at Gateway Bank in Lincoln, NE and was also employed at the County Extension Office and Anderson and Anderson Attorneys at Law in Tekamah, Nebraska. After moving to Grand Island, Nebraska, she worked for Wagoner and Wagoner, lawyers. In 1974, she began her career with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company which later became US West (now Qwest / CenturyLink.). She spent ten years in their Grand Island office, then another ten years in their Omaha office where she retired in 1994 after twenty years.
Mary enjoyed her years of work and traveling to new cities due to her husband’s promotions. Relocating her home and work has allowed her to form lasting friendships with so many people from work, church, clubs and through her daughter’s activities. She made many friends over her 92 years, working diligently to stay in touch with as many as possible as she moved. She always remembered a birthday or anniversary with a heartfelt card or handwritten letter and then became a daily email and Facebook correspondent. She bought her first computer in 1998 at the age of 59 and began writing an annual newsletter to her 1946 classmates and family members, who all started in Pawnee City but now live and travel. in the whole world. And she loved to celebrate her own birthday, organize dinner parties or elaborate themed events to bring her friends together and have a laugh!
Mary was active in Job’s Daughters while her daughter was a member. And Mary was the deputy leader of a 4-H club and a Brownie troop while her daughter was involved. She was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America and a member of the American Legion Auxiliary # 168 for 63 consecutive years. Mary was very active in many church activities and served on various boards in many different towns where they lived. Mary served on the Board of Directors of Partridge Knoll Condominiums in Cockeysville, Maryland, where she served as President and Secretary for several years. She even started a newsletter for this community. In 2003, while being treated for back pain and subsequent surgery, her surgeon recommended that she “live with it. [the pain]so Mary adopted the mantra ‘Seize the moment’ in the hope that it would remind her to live her life to the fullest. As she downsized her condo and moved into various assisted living communities – Maples, Brightview and the masonic house – she made new friends, loved new activities and made a point of having fun and continued joie de vivre.She enjoyed dining out with her family and playing Scrabble online with her daughter and loved embroidery, crafts, crossword puzzles, bingo games and a trivia game, Fact or Crap !, with her fellow citizens.
Mary married Kenneth Hand on November 24, 1962 in Wahoo, Nebraska. Mary’s greatest joy was when she and Kenneth adopted a five-day-old baby girl in March 1964. Naming her Lori Ann, Mary was so proud of Lori and all of her accomplishments. In 1997, Lori married her soul mate, Mark Jankowski, in Ravello, Italy and within months Mary and Kenneth moved from Nebraska to Maryland to be near them. Mark and Lori gave Mary four of the most important people in her life: her grandchildren. John Kenneth “Jack”, Anna Francesca, Rosaria Mae “Rosa” and Ava Teresa. She liked to bake them cookies and “hide” them in her freezer; take the children out to eat and play with them in his apartment.
Mary is survived by her daughter Lori and her son-in-law Mark, both of Hunt Valley, Maryland; his grandchildren Jack, Anna, Rosa and Ava; her brothers Willard (Joanna) of Bellflower, California; John David (Maryann) of Longmont, Colorado; Roger (Laurelei) of Savannah, Georgia and 6 great-nieces, 4 great-nephews and countless great-grand-nieces and nephews. Mary was predeceased by her husband, Kenneth, and her parents.
Mary was cremated and interred at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium, Maryland and commemorated alongside her husband at Tekamah Cemetery in Tekamah, Nebraska. Memorial services were held on Saturday August 7, 2021 at the Maryland Masonic House Chapel where Mary had lived since 2016. The Reverend Henry C. Thompson (Masonic House Chaplain) officiated. Donations can be made to any of the following, upon request: â¢ Timonium United Methodist Church, 2300 Pot Spring Road, Timonium, MD 21093 â¢ Sunset Hills Baptist Church, 9416 Pacific Street, Omaha, NE 68114 â¢ Pawnee City High School Alumni Association, Pawnee City, NE 68420
Posted by Omaha World-Herald on August 6, 2021.