Marcella Ann O’Connor Iwerson

IWERSON-Marcella Ann O’Connor, entered this world at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco on 3/3/18, the youngest of the 6 children of William A. O’Connor and Catherine Dunning O’Connor. Her siblings included Raymond J. O’Connor, a Superior Court judge at Juvenile Hall in San Francisco, Bernadette W. O’Connor Duggan of San Francisco and San Mateo, and William O’Connor of Panama and Grand Junction, CO. She outlasted them all by many years. She married Frank J. Iwersen of Omaha at Star of the Sea Catholic Church in San Francisco in 1944. He was then a Lt. Commander in the US Navy Medical Corp. Frank became a respected Orthopedic Surgeon with many friends in Omaha. He died in August 1997. Frank and Marcella had been married for 53 years. After moving to Omaha, they had 6 children, James F., BA, MA, San Francisco, Edward L., BA, Omaha, Lawrence J., MD, Kalispell, MT, Karen M., RN (Kim), Seattle, Matthew J., BA., Bellingham WA; Robert W., BA, MA, of San Francisco and Omaha. Marcella was a champion tennis player in San Francisco in the mid 1930’s and early 1940’s. After moving to Omaha, she raised her family and later became a Nebraska Tennis Hall of Fame member while teaching many juniors (4 state champions in one neighborhood) the fine points of her beloved game. Marcella was a great influence in the development of junior tennis and an influential volunteer for the Omaha and Nebraska Tennis Associations. She loved her ladies leagues and played them up until her last few years. Her father’s home on 12th Avenue in the Inner Sunset survived the great 1906 earthquake and fire and still stands in the fine neighborhood of The Inner Sunset. Her son, Jim, lives nearby. Marcella attended St Anne’s Grade School, St Rose’s Academy, and The SF College for Women at Lone Mountain. Although born into a Victorian era, Marcella became an adult in one of the golden eras of progressive San Francisco imbued with a spirit of tolerance, grand public amenities, e.g., Golden Gate Park with hundreds of gardeners (her father knew John McLaren), free tennis and museums, Sutro Baths, public transportation. Wondering why she had lived so long, she remained a good mother and grandmother until the end. She is also survived by 8 grandchildren from Ed and Diane (Eric & Andy), Larry and Teri (Cassidy, Beau, Anna Kate, Lizzie), and Matt and Kathy (Ellie, Clive). She enjoyed the visits of many of these and her friends. She spent her last years in San Francisco with Bob and Jim and in Omaha with Ed and bi-state Bob, the architect. She walked by herself, as her father had done, all over San Francisco, taking Muni and cabs. She enjoyed shopping, the cuisine of San Francisco, reading often and voluminously (especially mysteries), penning many notes and letters, volleying verbally sometimes with her son, Jim, and conversing with a variety of others. She attended church regularly and had her hair done weekly. She presented a fine style. She usually let sleeping dogs lie and didn’t often stir up muddy waters. She lovingly gave her children roots and wings. Despite a humorous grumbling about old age, she maintained a sense of San Francisco’s joie de vivre and Omaha’s practicality. She liked the remark of the great English logician and metaphysician, Alfred North Whitehead: “The worst thing about aging is that the world you lived in dies before you do.” Marcella led an interesting life and provided finely for her children and grandchildren to do the same as they chose. For years, she volunteered at Joslyn Art Museum, attended many baseball games, sipped her beer or wine, engaging the world and her friends and acquaintances to enjoy it also and make a difference for the better. Her usual stylish graciousness and humor will be missed and remembered. Her spirit left her frail body on Fri., 6/22/07. She will be celebrated next Saturday, 7/7/07, with a family Mass and a reception for friends and family at Happy Hollow Country Club, Omaha from 12 Noon until 3 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to the National Hemophilia Foundation, 116 West 32nd Street, 11th Floor, NY, NY 1001. We hope her friends will be able to meet for this reception. There will be a San Francisco memorial celebration later this summer for her wonderful friends in The City she loved. This will be announced in San Francisco. Please inquire about this with Bob or Jim.


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