Cover photo for Mary Theresa Wortman's Obituary
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1926 Mary 2021

Mary Theresa Wortman

May 20, 1926 — November 6, 2021

Mary Theresa Wortman, 95 of Wood River died on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at Tiffany Square in Grand Island.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 AM Friday, November 12, 2021 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wood River. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 PM Thursday, at the church. Memorials are suggested to St. Mary’s Alter Society for a dishwasher or Tabitha Hospice of Grand Island. Apfel Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Mary was born on May 20, 1926 in Lincoln, NE. She was the daughter of William Charles, Sr. and Mary Jeannette Wetterer. She was raised on a farm north of Wood River. She attended Hall County District 14 school through eighth grade and graduated as Valedictorian of her class from Wood River High School in 1941. She then taught at Hall County District 51 for four years.

She was married to Robert Elton Wortman on June 9, 1945, at the chapel on the Naval Base where Robert was stationed in Norman, OK. After Robert was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946, he farmed with his father until 1949 when he and Mary moved to an acreage in Cameron Township where they lived for 61 years and raised their 12 children.

Mary was the Secretary of Hall County District 14 school for nine years; leader of a 4-H club for several years; President of the Altar Society at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wood River for several years; and coordinator for the religious education program for 25 years. After Robert’s retirement, she spent thousands of hours volunteering for the Cancer Treatment Center in Grand Island. She served as an officer for the Grand Island Diocesan Council of Catholic Women for 40 years and was Province Director of the National level for two years. She was also president of the Deanery Council of Catholic Women for two years and secretary of the Deanery Council for two years.

Her greatest joy in life was her family. She enjoyed family gatherings and always missed those who were not present. She dearly loved all of them. Each year Mary made 144 dozen cookies and candies of different varieties to pack into her famous Christmas coffee can giveaways. Even if you couldn’t make it to Christmas day, and whether you were family or just like family, you could plan on her having your goodies waiting in the deep freeze.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Robert Elton Wortman, in January of 2013; son, Steven Wortman in 1986; her parents; and brother and sister-in-law Mr. and Mrs. Bill Wetterer Jr.

Survivors of the immediate family are her children, Robert (Marcia) Wortman of Curtis, James (Kay) Wortman of Scottsdale, AZ, Tom Wortman of Lincoln, Jerry (Terina) Wortman of Arcadia, Leo (Kathy) Wortman of Wood River, Jeannette (Don) Doremus of Grand Island, Betty Ohlman of Grand Island, Pat (Pam) Wortman of Rosendale, MO, David (Janet) Wortman of Grand Island, Charles (Lori) Wortman of Ogallala, and Susie Halleran of Waltonville, IL; 19 grandchildren 22 great grandchildren; and 2 great great grandchildren. Additional survivors include numerous nieces and nephews.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Theresa Wortman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, November 12, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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St. Mary's Cemetery

, Wood River, NE 68883

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