In Memory

Mary Ann Syrovatka (Erstrom) - Class Of 1945

Mary Ann Syrovatka (Erstrom)

Mary Ann Erstrom, 87, Just as the fog was lifting and the sun began to shine, Mary passed away peacefully on January 26, 2015, in Ontario, Oregon. Funeral arrangements were made under the direction of Lienkaemper Chapel, Vale.
Recitation of the Rosary will be held Thursday, January 29, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Vale, Oregon. Following on Friday, January 30, 2015, at 11:00 a.m., Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Church.
Mary was born November 7, 1927, in Stratton, Nebraska, to Frank and Mary Syrovatka. Shortly after birth the family moved to Brush, Colorado, where they cleared land to farm on the Colorado prairie. As the daughter of Czech immigrants, Mary learned to speak English when she attended school in the first grade. In 1937 her family moved to Willowcreek, where she attended area schools.
She graduated from Vale Union High in 1945 and moved to Nampa, Idaho to attend business school. After completing her studies, she returned to Vale where she was employed. On Christmas Eve, 1947, Mary married Swede Erstrom. Over the next sixty-four years, they farmed and raised their family of three children in the Vale area. Mary was active in the community as a 4-H leader.
She loved teaching kids to sew, as well as, helping with the livestock club. She helped groom many lambs for show. Watching, first her children and then grandchildren compete, brought her countless hours of pleasure. Mary’s grandchildren loved visits to the farm. They always enjoyed ice cream bars from the freezer and popcorn at night. Patiently, she taught nearly all of them to drive. After a day at the auction, Mary might be found with four kids and four goats in the back of her car, headed back to the farm. Mary and her grandchildren loved the menagerie of dogs, cats, birds, and bunnies that abounded.
Mary loved to be working outdoors. Evidence of her green thumb could be found in her flowerbeds. Orchids, Christmas cactus and violets were often blooming throughout her house.
Surviving Mary are her three children; Jerry (JoAnn) and Pat (Rhonda) of Willowcreek, and Kathy Sabus (Tony) of Eagle, Idaho. She was so proud of her eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Mary is also survived by her sister, Lilian Wilkins, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband and parents. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Vale High School FFA Scholarship Fund. A very special thanks to Warren and Margaret Weatherspoon. Together, they provided a wonderful home for Mary this past year. The entire Erstrom family is grateful for their loving care and compassion. Thanks also to Heart and Home Hospice.