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Obituary- Mary Ann Sterk

Mary Ann E. Sterk

9-20-1925 ~ 12-4-2010

Mary Ann E. (Cattani) (Burrescia) Sterk passed away December 4, 2010 at the Walsenburg Care Center with a deep breath of surrender to her Lord and Savior with her daughter by her side.

    Mary Ann was born September 20, 1925 in the coal camp of Rugby, Colorado, to Oreste and Angelina (Javernick) Cattani.  At the age of five, Mary Ann, her two siblings and mother with child, lost their father/husband in a horrible mining accident.  Mary Ann lived and attended school in Aguilar, Colorado; graduating with the class of 1945. 

    She began a short working career in Trinidad, Colorado, where she met and then married her first husband, Joe Burrescia Jr.  From this union two infants were born; first Oreste, and six years later Gary Burrescia, who both predeceased her.  After seven years of marriage, Mary Ann endured the loss of her beloved husband, Joe, and his father Joe Sr., in a tragic motor vehicle accident near Blanca in 1954.  Continuing to live in Trinidad, Mary Ann attended one semester at Trinidad State junior College in the nursing program.

    Mary Ann returned to Aguilar, living with her mother and stepfather, Angelina and Frank Guadagnoli and their two sons Dante and Frank.  During this time she met another recent widower, Paul J. Sterk, Sr. of Walsenburg.

    Mary Ann and Paul were married in 1958 and lived in Walsenburg.  In 1960, the couple were blessed with a baby girl, Paula Jo.  Mary Ann and Paul owned Sterk’s Liquors in Walsenburg from 1968 to 1973.  Upon Paul’s retirement from CF & I Steel Company Allen Mine one year later, they sold the liquor store and both retired.  Her darling husband Paul, due to his complications of breast cancer and black lung, again widowed her in 1981.

    For the next ten years, Mary Ann and her widowed brother-in-law, George Christiansen, kept each other company with yard work projects, tending to the various family graves and enjoying their friendship until George’s death in 1991.

    On Easter Sunday 2009, Mary Ann fell and was no longer able to live independently.  Leaving her beloved home with a heavy heart, she entered the Walsenburg Care Center where she was pampered and spoiled by her various caregivers for the remainder of her life. 

    Mary Ann’s sugo (spaghetti sauce) was enjoyed frequently and by many visitors.  She enjoyed crocheting and made various creations for her family and friends.   Mary Ann loved growing roses.

    Mary Ann is predeceased by her mother and stepfather, many members of her Burrescia family and husband, Paul.  Also predeceasing her is her sister Helen (Rocky) Johnson and brothers, Oreste (Rusty) Cattani and Frank Guadagnoli, sister-and brother-in law Ann (Sterk) and George Christiansen, step grandson Michael Sterk and step great-grandson Brandon Jensen.

    She leaves her devoted daughter and son-in-law, Paula Jo and Frank T. Conder, Walsenburg, to cherish their many wonderful memories.

    Other surviving family members include her sister, Alice (Joe) Arnone, Aguilar, brother, Dan (Martha) Guadagnoli, Pueblo, sister-in-law Helen Guadagnoli, Walsenburg, sister-in-law Barbara Burrescia, Trinidad, brother-in-law John Clenin, Denver, Step daughter, Vicki (Tom) Zamborelli, colorado Springs, Two step sons, Paul (Rose) Sterk, Jr. and James (Ruthlee) Sterk, Colorado city and special nephew Jan (Angi) Christiansen, Niantic, Connecticut.  She is also survived by her many step grandchildren, step great grandchildren, step great grandchildren, step great-great grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

    A vigil and open casket rosary was held  at 10 am at St. Mary Catholic Church in Walsenburg on December 8, 2010.  The funeral mass will begin at 11 am with Fr. Martin Frias as celebrant.  At a later date, burial of ashes will take place at the Masonic Cemetery in Walsenburg.

    The family respectfully requests the omission of food and flowers; those so inclined can remember Mary Ann through monetary donations made to the St. Mary Church Building Fund in her name.