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Mary Jane (Petersen) Working
April 1, 1944 ~ January 24, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old
Mary Jane Working
April 1, 1944 - January 24, 2024
Mary J. Working, an educator who taught kindergarten students for 30 years in Germany and Sierra Vista, died of a heart attack and stroke on January 24th at Canyon Vista Hospital. She was 79.
Mary Jane Working (née Petersen) was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 1st, 1944. She grew up in nearby Anoka, Minnesota, with her two older sisters, Eloise and Nancy, her brother Frank Jr., and with her parents, -- Frank and Alice, in her childhood home by the banks of the Mississippi River. In high school, she fell in love and married Howard Working, who soon had to leave to fly helicopters for the Army in Vietnam. He was then posted to Germany, where Mary started teaching at a DOD school. They lived there for seven years, forming lifelong friendships. Her family grew with the arrival of two sons, Chris and Donovan, and they returned to Howard's next post at Fort Huachuca in 1982.
Mary received a Masters Degree in Education, and then began a very successful 23-year career teaching kindergarten in Sierra Vista. After retiring, she found it impossible to go around town without bumping into former students who still recognized her, even after growing up! After retiring from the Army, her beloved husband Howard also began teaching Math at Buena High, before passing on in 2013.
Mary Jane Working is survived by her son Donovan, his wife Stephanie and their son Owen, and by her granddaughter Maya. Donovan followed in his Mom and Dad's footsteps as a teacher, and Maya, who was very close to her grandmother, is currently pursuing a nursing degree at NAU. Mary is also deeply missed by her sister Eloise Miller in Minnesota, by her best friend Ursula Larsen in Michigan, and by her partner of the last five years, Jonathon Donahue of Tombstone.
Mary Working's funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at the Sierra Vista Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir for many years, at 3225 S. St Andrews Drive, Sierra Vista, AZ 85650. Before passing on, she asked that donations be sent in her name and memory to the Sierra Vista Methodist Church. On the Monday following the service, Mary's ashes will be interred next to her husband Howard's, at the Fort Huachuca Post Cemetery. She was a beloved person and exceptional educator, now at peace in the hands of God in heaven, reunited with her husband Howard and her son Chris.