August 24, 2023 at 7:20 a.m.
Updated August 24, 2023 at 7:20 a.m.
Mary (Don) Pechan, age 90, died peacefully, surrounded by family at Agrace Hospicecare in Janesville, Wisconsin on August 19,2023, after combatting lymphoma for several years.
Mary was born on May 21, 1933, to Agnes and Ed Prochaska, at their family home, in Snow Bottom, in Grant County, Wisconsin. She grew up in the Avoca area alongside two sisters, Lorraine (Goplin), Kate (Martin) and brother, Jim. She graduated from Avoca High School in 1951. She then attended Richland Center Normal School and obtained a teaching degree. Clyde School, encompassing grades 1-8, is where Mary began her teaching career.
Donald Pechan of Avoca became Mary's husband on June 9, 1956, and together they devoted their lives to raising eight children. Mary proudly completed her bachelor's degree in education at UW-Platteville in 1975 and returned to teaching first grade, full-time in 1977 for the Riverdale School District. As a teacher, she was known for her kindness, ready smile, and love of penguins. She retired from teaching in 1999 and found joy in spending time with her husband and extended family.
Mary was active in the American Legion Auxiliary and the St. Joseph Altar Society. She valued her Catholic faith and was always offering prayers for others and extending a "God Bless."
Mary is survived by her eight children: Joe Pechan of Avoca, Kathy Pechan (Keith Placek) of Downs, Illinois, Marjorie Sarmiento (Pete Lanzone) of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, Colleen (Larry) Sallee of Rochester, Minnesota, Theresa (Dan) Arndt of Madison, Wisconsin, John (Lisa) Pechan of Carol Stream, Illinois, Amy (Robby Anderson) of Lodi, Wisconsin, and Tom (Tara) Pechan of Barneveld, Wisconsin. Grandchildren include Jared Placek, Olivia and Alex Sarmiento, Zach and Brittany Sallee, Claudia, Drew and Ethan Arndt, Audrey and Nolan Pechan, Mara, Emily, and Luke Anderson, and Owen, Elle, and Will Pechan. She was also blessed with eleven great grandchildren.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother, two sisters, and infant granddaughter Molly Pechan.
A heartfelt thanks to Susie Ziebarth (niece) and Liz Wilkinson for assisting with Mom's care during the past few years while she resided at home. You are truly angels. The Avoca Community kindly watched over Mom and Joe, in so many ways, and our family is grateful to all.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Avoca. Burial will follow in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Friday, August 25, 2023, at St. John's Gym in Muscoda, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 with a rosary to be prayed at 3:40, to be followed by an American Legion Auxiliary Service. Visitation will also be held on Saturday, August 26, 2023 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the mass at 10:00 a.m. The family suggests memorials in Mary's name be directed to Agrace Hospicecare, 5395 E Cheryl Pkwy, Fitchburg, WI 53711 or Corpus Christi Parish, 405 East LeGrand St, Boscobel, WI 53805. The Pratt Funeral and Cremation Service is assisting the family with their arrangements.