Mary June Weaver
Mary June Weaver, nee Thurnau, passed away in her home in Battlement Mesa, Colorado on May 26th. Born in Fergus Falls, Minnesota on January 26, 1923, she was with her family, husband Arthur T. Weaver, and children Katherine Fern, Thomas A. Weaver, Richard D. Weaver, and Jonathan T. Weaver during her last days. She has three grandchildren, Grant T. Weaver and Hope M. Weaver of Rockport, MA, and Serena S. Weaver, who lives in Amsterdam, Holland.
She was well known for her over 50-year career as a Registered Nurse. At Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, she helped hundreds of mothers bring their newborn sons and daughters into the world. It happened often that a mother would stop her on the street to say, “ Mary! This is my daughter, she is 18 now and in college, you were my nurse when she was born”. For her service to the profession, Valley View nominated her for the Colorado Nightengale Foundation Award.
She spent her childhood in Minnesota and North Dakota, graduating from High School in Lankin, ND in 1941. She graduated from nursing school at St Luke’s Hospital in Fargo, ND in 1944, promptly joining the Army Nurse Corps serving in both the Philippines and Japan during WW II. Second Lt. Mary Thurnau and Second Lt. Arthur T. Weaver were married in the Novalisches Monastery, which had been converted to a field hospital where she was stationed, near Manila, Philippine Islands on August 12, 1945.
She joined the ANC, “looking for adventure and to travel the world!” a goal she achieved during her time in the service as well as over the years of Arthur’s active duty. He retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1966. She helped to raise their four children all over the globe, including California, North Carolina, Michigan, Indiana, Colorado, Utah, Japan, Germany, & France. In her journal she recorded moving many times, living in 30 homes during her married life of nearly 70 years.
The fourth of seven children born to Oscar and Ella Thurnau, Mary is survived by sisters Eleanor Russell and Jewel Beck. Her sisters, Beverly Kinder, Vivian Novak, Neola Ann Spackman, and her brother Donald Thurnau predecease her. In her introduction to Colorado, Donald then stationed at Fort Carson, inducted Mary into the Army Nurse Corps as part of his duties as personnel officer. She wrote that it was “love at first sight”, a passion that drove Arthur and Mary to retire to Colorado in 1966. They lived in Colorado Springs and Glenwood Springs, before moving to Battlement Mesa.
Working alongside her Dad as a child, Mary’s first job was at the grain elevator in Hatton, ND, where she did quality control on grains, ran errands, and did his bookkeeping. She earned $1 per week, and soon had enough to buy her first roller skates! Throughout her life she loved sewing, and made clothes for her family. She was a gifted needle worker, and her families’ homes are full of her quilts, crocheted tablecloths and handmade pillows.
A founding member of the “Helping Hands” of Good Shepard Lutheran Church, Mary spent many hours with her closest friends creating handmade quilts, which were either sent to missions in Africa, or donated to other projects for those in need in the community.
Mary was an avid skier and hiker, and had a season’s pass to Sunlight Ski well into her 80’s. She was one of the “Wednesday Wanderers”, a group of friends who met every week to go hiking or cross country skiing.
Mary’s life was one of service, to her family and friends, to her church, to her community and to her country. She will be missed, and long remembered as “ Mary Ooche”, the “Relentless White Tornado”, who could do anything and did everything with energy, humor, and love.
A memorial service will be held at Good Shepard Lutheran Church in Glenwood Springs on Thursday June 11th at 11 AM.
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