(Neb)-Mary Allberry Passes At Age 82
CHADRON - Western Nebraska lost one of its truly unique residents last Saturday with the death in Omaha at age 82 of teacher, author, and feisty sports "team grandma" Mary Allberry.
A native of Omaha, Allberry was a widow in her 30s and mother of 7 young children in North Platte when she decided to return to college and become a teacher. Not even a ruptured brain aneurysm could keep her from reaching her goal and graduating in 1978.
That began a teaching career of more than 20 years at North Platte High School, first in Spanish and later, after earning a master's degree and a second bhachelor's, history.
She overcame tragedy again after her second husband died in 1988 and two years later joined the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program and taught English at a high school of 1,200 students in Poland for 15 months, where she was recognized as the nation's best teacher in 1992.
Allberry returned to North Platte and taught until retiring, then moved to Chadron at age 73 and immediately became a substitute teacher at the high school, a "school grandma" and "team grandma" for many sports while serving on organizations that included the Chadron Baseball Board, the high school booster club, and the St Patrick's Catholic Church Parish Council.
She also played organ, guitar, accordion and piano and taught religion classes at the church until her health no longer allowed it a few years ago.
Allberry was the official scorer for the Chadron American Legion Baseball program for many years and filled the same role for the Chadron State College softball team for several seasons.
She became an autho at age 76 with a memoir titled "I Ain't Done Yet," begun when she was hospitalized for 8 days by a reaction to medication that led to multiple health problems. Once she started the book, it took just 3 weeks to finish and 7 months to get published. In it, she detailed her life and reflected on the lessons she wanted to pass on.
Her second book, "Talk a Little. Listen a Lot," was published in 2014 as her attempt to help end miscommunication through a few suggestions and solutions based largely on her personal experiences, especially when traveling abroad.
Services for Mary Allberry will be Friday in Omaha with burial Monday at Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska. A memorial has been established for one of her true loves, the Chadron American Legion Baseball program.
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