In Memory

Mary C. Steckel (Foster)

We knew her as Miss Steckel when we were in high school.  Several years after our graduation she married and became Mrs. Foster, or Mary Foster to generations of Moline High School students afterward.  Mary recently passed away.  The following is her obituary.

     Mary C. Foster, 81, of Rock Island, passed away Thursday, February 7, 2019 at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf.
     A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 am on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, Rock Island.  Visitation will be one hour prior to service at church.  Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery, Rock Island.  Memorials may be made to St. Pius X Catholic Church, Rock Island or to the Midwest Writing Center.
     Mary was born on December 29, 1937 in Mexico, MO, the daughter of George B. and Mary Jane (Barnbrook) Steckel.  She married George Foster on August 29, 1965 in Illinois.  Mary worked as a teacher and administrator for the Moline School District for 35 years.  She was a member of: St. Pius X Catholic Church, Rock Island, Midwest Writing Center, Kiwanis of Moline, and the Blackhawk Unit of Retired Teachers.
     Mary is survived by her sister-in-law, Anne Steckel; nephews, Father Greg Steckel, John G. Steckel; niece, Anne V. (Brett) Frazier; numerous other nieces and nephews; and very special friends, Shirley Thomas and Gee Green.  She was preceded in death by her husband, George Foster; parents; infant son, George Michael Foster; and brother, George B. Steckel.



 
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02/10/19 01:56 PM #1    

Rick Anderson

Miss Steckel was my history teacher when I was, I believe, a sophomore.  It must have been really early in her career in education.  By the time our two kids went through MHS she had gone into administration and was assistant principal before her retirement.  Sylvia got to know her after they had both retired from Moline High School and both attended retiree functions.  Serious, conscientious, and friendly were good descriptives for her, in my experience.


02/12/19 10:09 PM #2    

Frank D Seydel

Rick, Miss Steckel was also my history teacher when I was a sophomore.  It was indeed her first year of teaching.  As you said, she was serious, conscientious, and friendly.  I would also add that she was earnest and patient, especially, patient.  I can remember several times stopping in her room after school was out for the day to discuss things like my term paper ideas. Perhaps she thought, "silly sophomore," but she never let that idea show through.  I am grateful for her teaching.


02/13/19 08:07 PM #3    

Janet K Pease

I thought I had Miss Steckel my junior year at MHS but I see everyone else says sophomore year,so that  must be right. She inspired  me to be a history teacher and after graduating from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, I moved to Colorado and taught American History at Arvada West High School there  for 40 years until 2008.  In turn several of my students have gone on to be high school history teachers, one at our high school in Arvada and several others in other metro Denver area high schools . Thus Miss Steckel inspired a long line of other students to continue teaching what she had taught us that year.  I don't think I knew at the time she was a first year teacher; I never noticed.  My first year teaching was a little wobbly but I survived.  She was by far my most influential teacher in high school, the one I remember far better than others  (except perhaps Mr Coder) at John Deere and MHS, of course.  They will always be remembered by me.  They made a difference.


02/14/19 03:52 PM #4    

Patricia L Wildermuth (Fraisl)

I, like Janet, remember having Miss Steckel for history in my Junior year. I had Mr. Laws for World History as a sophomore. Although history was "not my thing", I remember liking and respecting her very much.

02/14/19 05:26 PM #5    

Richard S Baldwin

Mary Steckel taught an honors history class when we were juniors. That was her first year as a high school instructor. As other classmates have attested, she was a great teacher and made the class very interesting.I'd thought about her several times over the years but did not know she stayed in the Moline school all these years.


02/16/19 09:42 AM #6    

Bob Willis

Although I did not have Mary for an instructor, I am so impressed by her teaching skills and compassion as expressed by our class members that were in her classes.  The impact of her life will be reflected in generations of history teachers for many generations.

 


02/16/19 12:16 PM #7    

Terry N Kramer

My wife, Roxanne, had Mary Steckel (Foster) as her history teacher and absolutely loved her as a terrific teacher.  I did not have her as my teacher but worked with her when she was the MHS Associate Principal before she retired.  She was a totally professional excellent administrator caring for students, teachers and parents - a great lady of many talents.  She will be missed and remembered.


02/18/19 09:12 PM #8    

Marcia K Anderson (Wetzel)

I first met Mary Steckel in the early fifties when she was a student at, I believe, Alleman. We lived in the 100 block on 5th Avenue (Ericsson School district) until the Fall of 1956. Mary's parents, George and Mary Jane, ran a little lunch/ dinner counter restaurant on the corner of 2nd Street and 5th Avenue. My parents and I frequently ate there. Mary worked there with her parents apparently after she got out of school. They were very hard working, humble and gracious people. When our daughter, Jennifer, was a student at Moline High School I would occasionally see Mary and she always had a nice comment about Jenny. Through the years whenever I would see her in the community we would always exchange pleasantries. She was a class act.

 

Marcia Anderson Wetzel 


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