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Mary Louise Pickerill, 88, of Syracuse

Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Mary Louise Pickerill was born Oct. 4, 1931, in Kimball, Nebr., her parents were Raymond Wilson and Marion Noyes Wilson.

While her father Raymond was working in Tecumseh as the County Extension Agent he died at the age of 31.

She was four and a half years old, her mother moved them to their family farm near Valley and went back to school at the University of Nebraska.

Her mother took a position as the Home Extension Agent for Otoe County and the family moved to Syracuse.

One morning when the hired girl combed her sister's hair with a fork, Mary Lou at the age of 12 took over the care of her little sister and older brother including the housekeeping and cooking.

We think this is where she honed her skills in cooking, cleaning, and to organize and manage.

Mary Lou met Herb at High School in Syracuse, they were married in 1947.

As a young couple they lived in many apartments in Lincoln, while Herb attended the University of Nebraska, before returning to Syracuse in 1950, where they eventually designed and built their home in 1962 were they lived for the rest of their lives.

Mary Lou was active with many activities including; organizing the Em-A-Non (no name backwards) Extension Club, the Order of Eastern Star, the Otoe County Republicans, 4-H and Girl Scout Leader, and was active in many capacities with the United Methodist Church of Syracuse including committee work for funeral lunches, county fair stand, the Church Board of Trustee's and actively involved in the design and rebuilding of the church after the fire.

She worked at the Syracuse Sales Pavilion and John Deere as a book keeper, and the sewing factory in Syracuse for a time in the 60's and 70's.

She was a seamstress her entire life making banners for school and church, re-upholstering furniture, and making clothes for family and friends, including wedding dresses and veils for many.

She put her many creative and organizational skills to good use in 1979 when she took a job with the Homestead Girl Scout Council.

She had been a volunteer for many years but then as manager for the Service Unit 11 over southeast Nebraska where she worked for 13 years, retiring in 1992.

After retirement she remained active in her volunteer organizations and traveling to visit kids and grandkids in Phoenix, Seattle, California and Nebraska too, helping with many moves over the years.

Mary Lou was famous for her legendary dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, pies, French bread and family favorite kraut runzas.

Mom was an avid gardener, growing vegetables for the family, canning plus jellies and jams, but flower gardening would be her passion.

Growing beautiful flowers and sharing plants over the years with many friends and family.

Mary Lou is preceeded in death by husband Herb, her father Raymond Wilson, mother Marion Noyes Wilson Harms, stepfather John Harms, brother David Wilson, sister in-law Ardele Wilson, brother in-law Charles Sutton, brother in-law David Pickerill, sister in-law Barbara Pickerill and brother in-law Norman Pierce.

She is survived by her sister Nancy Wilson Sutton of Lincoln; sister in-law Rowena Pickerill Pierce of Longview, Wash.; daughter Deborah (Jack) Gilbert of Murdock; son Mark Pickerill (fiancé Paula Drew) of Gig Harbor, Wash.; daughter Julie Pickerill of Phoenix, Ariz.; son Kelly (Roselyn Ullmann) Pickerill of West End, NC; and Timothy Pickerill of Brooklyn, N.Y. Grandchildren are Jennifer Gilbert Highfield of Kansas City, Mo.; Christine Gilbert (David) Paulsen, Orlando, Fla., Kendall Pickerill Olson of Boston, Mass.; Merrill Pickerill of Boston, Mass.; Cameron Pickerill-Trinitapoli; Mckinsey Pickerill-Trinitapoli and Hanna Pickerill-Trinitapoli of Phoenix, Ariz.; Jacklyn Pickerill (Matt) Struempler of Shawnee, Kan.; Bryce Pickerill of Lincoln. Great grandchildren are Tyler Paulsen, Grace Paulsen, Hudson Highfield and Penny Highfield.

Honorary Pallbearers are her grandchildren.

Due to COVID-19, a private service was to be held for the family Aug. 19,  at 1 p.m. at the United Methodist Church of Syracuse and a public Graveside service was to be held at 1:45 p.m. at the Park Hill Cemetery, Syracuse, NE SE corner; Pastor Gary Ganger officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family for the Shriners Childrens Hospital, and the Girl Scout Camp Scholarship Fund.

Arrangements by Fusselman Allen Harvey Funeral Home, Syracuse, NE, 402.269.2441.

Live Streaming was at www.fusselmanallenharvey.com