Mary Claire (Hesh) Ourecky, visitor services manager at the International Quilt Museum, died April 6 after a seven-year battle with cancer.
Ourecky joined the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2008 when the International Quilt Museum opened on East Campus. As visitor services coordinator and later visitor services manager, she welcomed visitors at the front desk, gave tours, supervised university students and worked closely with the museum’s volunteer corps.
“It was a joy to have Mary’s shining personality and gracious welcome greet visitors at the International Quilt Museum,” said Leslie Levy, executive director. “We are all richer for having Mary in our lives, and she will be dearly missed by all of us.”
Ourecky graduated from Wilber High School in 1976 and the Reece and Sybil School of Cosmetology in 1977. After working as a cosmetologist at Miller and Paine, she joined Karen’s Salon in Wilber, where she worked for over 20 years.
Before coming to work at the museum, she ran the Bernina store in Lincoln and worked for Hancock Fabrics as an educator and trainer. An accomplished seamstress, Ourecky started her business, In Stitches, a sewing and alterations business. Her “Minky” blankets and T-shirt quilts have put smiles on the faces of many across the country.
Ourecky is survived by her husband, Dale; daughters, Jamie (Gabe) Sand, Wilber, and Elizabeth (Guy) Stinnett, Choctaw, Oklahoma; son, Aron (Elizabeth) Ourecky, Wilber; grandchildren, Easton, Jase and Bryson Sand, Evelyn and Krislin Ourecky; sisters, Tess (Bob) O’Connell, Yorkville, California, and Susie (Tom) Stokebrand, Phoenix, Arizona; and brother, Steve Hesh, Berkley, California. Mary is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Judy (Larry) Kubicek, Gretna, and Betty Ourecky, Lincoln, and several nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. April 10 at the United Methodist Church in Wilber. Visitation will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. April 9 at Kuncl Funeral Home in Wilber.
The Mary Ourecky IQM Volunteer Fund has been created at the University of Nebraska Foundation to recognize and honor Mary, the numerous contributions she made and the lives she touched at the International Quilt Museum. Donations will be used to support and recognize volunteers who promote and enhance the museum. Donations can be sent to either the museum or the University of Nebraska Foundation.
A full obituary can be found and condolences can be left online.