Mary M. Baumstark
October 13, 1930 – July 25, 2021
Preceded in death by husband, John; sister, Carolyn Doyle. Survived by children: Mary Baumstark Bushman (Ryan), Karen Baumstark Porter (Randy), John Baumstark (Donna); grandchildren, John, Jr. and Katherine Baumstark, Mary and Anna Porter; sisters and brother; Marjory McNaghten (Bruce), Pastor William McConkey, Jane Vogt (Charles); numerous nieces and nephews.
Family will receive friends Saturday, July 31st from 1 to 3pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by FUNERAL SERVICE AND CELEBRATION OF LIFE at 3pm. Private Interment. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Omaha Community Playhouse or the Assistance League of Omaha.
Mary Alice McConkey was born on October 13, 1930 in Clinton, Illinois to G. C. McConkey and Mary Frances (Lipton) McConkey. She was the oldest of 5 siblings – Marjory, William “Bill”, Carolyn, and Jane. Mary Alice passed away peacefully on the morning of July 25, 2021.
Her early childhood was influenced by the Great Depression, during which her family had to move to her grandparent’s farm. Mary’s legendary frugality came from her experience of living through the Depression. Her father later secured a job in the St. Louis area, and she lived there until she graduated from Jennings High School in 1948.
Mary entered Southeast Missouri State College where she majored in English (Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society) and was very active in her sorority – CLIO Society (President, Senior year), Terpsicore Dance Club, Black Mask Dramatic Club and Music Club. The highlight of her senior year was her engagement to classmate John Spann Baumstark, whom she married on June 7, 1952, shortly after graduation.
Mary worked for the next several years while husband John obtained his master’s degree and Ph.D. in Biochemistry. After completing his graduate work the couple moved to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area where daughters Mary Louise and Karen Elizabeth were born. In 1962 the family moved to the Boston area where their third child, John William was born. In addition to raising her family, she was a substitute teacher and was active in Fieldbrook Club, a women’s volunteer organization.
In 1972 the family moved to Omaha to Mary’s home in Leawood West where she lived until her recent illness. She worked as an executive secretary for a number of businesses. In addition, Mary was a very active volunteer, serving in organizations including Child Saving Institute, Omaha Community Playhouse, Assistance League of Omaha and PEO.
Mary was a very active person who believed that you had to “keep moving” and often preached this to family and friends. She was an avid tennis player and continued to play singles into her late 80’s. Mary skied for 40 years and was an active member of the JCC where she exercised nearly every day. She was a lifelong bridge player and was active in several bridge clubs. Mary loved to learn and was a voracious reader and world traveler, visiting Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. She also enjoyed extensive travel in North America. Mary loved music and attended every concert she could. She enjoyed theater and was an active supporter as a theatergoer and volunteer.
Next to being a mom, Mary’s greatest joy was being a grandmother to Johnny, Mary, Katherine, and Anna. She was fortunate to live close to Mary and Anna and enjoyed being actively involved in their lives, driving them to and from school and activities. Mary often remarked that she wished she lived closer to Johnny and Katherine so she could share in their lives more fully. She was very proud of them all and loved hearing about their activities and accomplishments. Mary was their biggest supporter.
She loved to cook and started the tradition of cooking family dinners every Sunday, calling it her “test kitchen”, where she would prepare new and elaborate dinners each week. Mary continued this until her illness earlier this year.
Mary was fun to be around; she loved to laugh and loved her family and friends. We will miss her dearly.
Mary was preceded in death by husband of 48 years, John Spann Baumstark; father, G. C. McConkey; mother, Mary Frances McConkey; sister, Carolyn Doyle. She is survived by children: Mary Baumstark Bushman (Ryan), Karen Baumstark Porter (Randy) and John Baumstark (Donna); four grandchildren: Johnny, Mary, Katherine, and Anna; sisters, Marjory McNaghten (Bruce) and Jane Vogt (Charlie); brother, Pastor William McConkey; numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Assistance League of Omaha or the Omaha Community Playhouse.