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Mary Kathleen (Beecham) Gerken

April 5, 1948 — March 13, 2024

OMAHA

Mary Kathleen (Beecham) Gerken died peacefully at home on Wednesday, March 13th . Born in Palmyra, Nebraska to Bill and Marie Beecham, Mary Kay grew up the middle of nine siblings. After graduating from Palmyra High School in 1965, Mary moved to Lincoln to attend Saint Elizabeth’s Nursing School. The stories told from those days at “St. E’s” could fill a book. Thankfully no book was necessary as the friendships formed there lasted the rest of her life.

In 1976, Mary Kay married Bob Gerken. With many friends in common and a shared sense of adventure, Mary and Bob started their lives together, which would span the next 47 years. They went on to have two children, Drew and Joanna, and became active members at Saint Cecilia’s Cathedral Parish. It would be difficult to find a volunteer role at Saint Cecilia that one of them didn’t hold at some point. It was so much more than just a Church to them; it was their community from which countless friendships were formed and fostered.

Being a nurse was a defining role of Mary’s life. She was a proud, capable nurse not only to her patients at Nebraska Medicine where she worked for over 40 years but to her friends and family who routinely called for medical advice. Always patient and thoughtful, Mary was a wise woman, gave good advice and when all else failed offered her trademark, “It is what it is.” 

Indeed, when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, Mary leaned into her trademark phrase and lived well for the next 12 years - traveling the world, spending time with friends and soaking up any chance to spend time with her 9 grandchildren.

Mary leaves behind her husband Bob and children Drew (Crystal) and Joanna (Josh Nordhues), nine “Grands”: Logan Field, Ella, Lucy, Sofie, and Sunny Gerken, Avery, Mack, Marlo, and Otto Nordhues, two sisters: Margaret Skean and Jean LeBlanc and two brothers, Bob and Marty Beecham. 

She is preceded by her Mom and Dad, William and Marie Beecham and brothers Jerry, John, Pat, and infant brother Timothy.

VISITATION: Begins at 5:00PM at St. Cecilia Cathedral on Tuesday March 19th with a WAKE SERVICE at 7:00 PM.

MASS OF CHRISTAIN BURIAL: Wednesday, March 20th, 11:15 AM At St. Cecilia Cathedral.

INTERMENT: Calvary Cemetery.

MEMORIALS: to The Furniture Project (10808 J St, Omaha, NE 68137).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Kathleen (Beecham) Gerken, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Prayer Service

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

7:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Mass

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

11:15am - 12:15 pm (Central time)

Mass of Christian Burial

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Burial

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

2:00 - 2:30 pm (Central time)

Calvary Catholic Cemetery- Omaha

7710 West Center Road, Omaha, NE 68124

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