Mary Alyce Prucha, 97, died Friday, April 12, in Oklahoma City, leaving her family with countless memories of her humor, generosity and sweet tooth.
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The matriarch was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, on April 2, 1922 to Oscar H. and Vivian A. Kirk.
Mary began her university years at the Oklahoma College for Women before transferring to the University of Oklahoma. On a blind date in Norman, Mary met Albert Charles Prucha Jr., who managed to win her heart at a time when there was no shortage of eligible military men in town. They married on Nov. 6, 1943 – just two weeks after meeting. They would go on to spend decades together until Albert’s death on Oct. 15, 1999.
Following the war, Albert ran banks while Mary ran the household – sometimes like a bank. She made wise investments by raising four children and instilling in them her wit, kindness, faith and love of all things sweet. But unlike a typical banker, Mary was quick to snatch restaurant bills, and she always came to Christmas with a stack of stuffed envelopes – one for each of her many relatives.
While mild-mannered most of the time, she also was tenacious. Her cunning outsmarted the schemes of misbehaved children and would-be rascals. It also came in handy for a quick witticism or to score something sweet.
She loved to entertain and made every holiday, birthday party and family gathering special. She kept her children and grandchildren close, becoming a second mother to her sons- and daughter-in-law as the family grew.
Whether traveling across the world or down south for an annual gulf getaway, Mary was always up for a trip and a little fun. She spread joy where she went – sometimes by the stories she would bring back that occasionally involved a comedic mishap. She gained notoriety among her friends as a ruthless Joker player.
The spiritual cornerstone was a lifelong Christian and taught Bible class for years. She never forgot to remind family to read the Bible daily. She was a member of the Southwest Church of Christ in later years.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother Robert Clarke Kirk, grandson Gary Edward McDonald Jr., granddaughter Lauren Nicole Maxwell, and great-grandson Derrick Dale Davies Jr.
She is survived by her son Albert Charles Prucha III, wife Jama, of Eufaula Lake; her daughters, Carol Lynn McDonald, husband Gary, of Edmond; Beverly Ann Flesher, husband Jim, of Stillwater; Mary Jane Maxwell, husband Jimmy, of Oklahoma City; her grandchildren, Albert Charles Prucha IV, wife Amber; David Kirk Prucha, wife Kelly; Leigh Ellen Baker, husband John; Ashley Lynn Hartwig, husband Ryan; Emily McDonald; Robyn Kelley Davies, husband Derrick; Randi Allison Johnson, husband Tommy; Rustee Meghan Rutherford; Meagan Renee Maxwell, fiance Alan; Kimber Leigh Maxwell; Alex Ryan Maxwell; Lauren Ashley Baranek, fiance Garik; 16 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandson.