Mary Ann Moon, age 87, died at Field Crest Care Center in Hayfield on Saturday September 2nd. She had been a resident since February 2012 following a major stroke.
Mary was born to Anna (Clay) Moon and Walter Moon on September 24, 1929 at Amiret, MN. After graduating from Tracy High School in 1947, she attended Mankato State Teachers College, earning a degree in Elementary Education. While in college she volunteered for a six-month International Farm Youth Exchange program to Chile, which really piqued her interest in international travel.
She taught in Amiret, Balaton, Owatonna and Rawlins, WY. In 1957 she signed on to teach overseas with the Department of Defense educating the children of military personnel. Mary began teaching at Clark AFB in the Philippines; then Taegu Air Base, Korea; Johnson Air Force Base, Japan; Sidi Slimane Air Base, Morocco; Air Force Base Peshawar, West Pakistan; Hahn AFB West Germany; Air Force Base at Iraklion, Crete; U.S. Army Base at Asmara, Ethiopia; U.S. Army Berlin Brigade, West Germany; Normanni Air Station, Brindisi, Italy; and finally the US Army Garrison at Ansbach, Germany. She especially loved Germany, spending her last 16 years of her overseas teaching career while living off-base at Burgoberbach, Germany.
Always the "student", she learned the language of each country while working there, and lived "off base" whenever possible, in order to immerse herself in the culture of the community. She taught 34 years with the Department of Defense, retiring to Hayfield in 1991. She enjoyed participating in the annual gathering of "overseas teachers" held each summer somewhere in the U.S. Even while confined to Field Crest Care Center, she continued to correspond with friends all over the world.
Following her retirement, Mary continued to teach through her volunteer work with McCurdy Schools in Española, New Mexico and at the Red Bird Mission at Beverly, Kentucky, both mission schools founded by the Methodist Church. She also was a mentor in the First Grade Reading program at Hayfield Elementary School, in addition to being a substitute teacher in the school system.
Mary was an active member of Sargeant United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Women organization, plus the Hayfield Study Club. She was a very active member of Hormel Nature Center, and enjoyed feeding and identifying birds and butterflies, plus nature walks at the Ironhorse Nature trail at Hayfield, and numerous Minnesota State Parks to identify native plants and flowers. Mary appreciated her "morning coffee friends" who have continued to visit her at the Care Center each Saturday.
Mary is survived by two sisters: Joanne Becklund, Minneapolis; Janice (Marvin) Eppard, Red Wing; two brothers: Frank (Betty) Moon of Hayfield and Dwight (Jean) Moon, St. Francis, and a sister-in-law Jean Moon of Mesa, AZ, plus thirteen very special nieces and nephews, and also many great and great-great nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Dwayne Moon, and brother-in-law Morris Becklund.
A memorial service will be held at Sargeant United Methodist Church in Sargeant on Saturday September 16th, at 11:00 a.m. A visitation will be at the church from 9:00-11:00 Saturday a.m. She will be buried at a later date in her family plot at Bethel Cemetery near Tracy.
Memorials are preferred to Sargeant United Methodist Church, or to the donor's choice. Czaplewski Family Funeral Homes & Crematory in Hayfield assisted with arrangements.