Cover photo for Mary Heyne's Obituary
Mary Heyne Profile Photo
1932 Mary 2024

Mary Heyne

November 12, 1932 — May 30, 2024

Mary (Pycha) Heyne, 91, of Pender, NE died on Thursday, May 30, 2024, at Brookstone Village in Omaha, NE. The visitation will be held on Monday, June 3, 2024, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender, NE. The funeral will be on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. at Christ United Church of Pender, in Pender, NE, with Pastor Daniel Springer officiating. The burial will be in Rosehill Cemetery in Pender, NE. Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation. Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender, NE. 

Mary was born November 12, 1932, on a farm outside of Rosalie, Nebraska to James and Mary Pycha (nee Stepanek).  She was the youngest of nine siblings.  She was raised on two different farms outside of Winnebago playing and working along with her two brothers, Tony and Jimmy, that were closest in age to her.

Given the large age gap between her and her older sisters, her nieces—Barbara and Frances Eicke, Maragaret Hamann—became her lifelong friends. She loved playing with them and often recounted going on a trip with the Eickes to swim in the Great Salt Lake.

In fourth grade she attended the St. Augustine Mission School due to the Catholic priest’s request to her father.  Otherwise, she attended Winnebago Grade and High School.

After high school, she attended Wayne State College for one year and obtained her teaching certificate.   It was one of the most fun years of her life.  She enjoyed meeting all the new people, staying in the dorm, road trips and dances.   Her college yearbook was full of friends writing that she was a “great gal”.

Mary embarked on her brief country school teaching career after college.  During this time, she boarded with a family near her school. This was very impactful on our family, as Jerry taught her to make chocolate roll cake.  We enjoyed this scrumptious dessert every Christmas. Cody Quine wrote about Grandma’s Chocolate Roll Cake for a holiday school assignment and Andrew wrote about her delicious kolaches.

Mary enjoyed going to dances often being escorted by her brothers.  It was at one of these dances that she met Richard Heyne. It wasn’t long before they became engaged and Mary proudly displayed her engagement ring at the Christmas play each time she reached up to open and close the curtain.   They were married on February 4, 1956 and celebrated at the old Dutch Hall.  Their guests lined up around the dance floor and the second-floor balcony to watch their “first dance”.  Richard and Mary continued to love dancing together for their entire lives. They were charter members of the Tin Roof Dance Club where they danced to records along with their neighbors and friends.

They moved to a farm near Thurston, Nebraska where they raised cattle, hogs, row crops and their four daughters—Nancy Laura, Linda Kay, Lisa Faye and Darlene Mae.  Mary retired from teaching school soon after they were married, but she was a life long teacher of her daughters. She taught them to cook, sew, garden, and take care of poultry.  She took them to 4H meetings and to the library.  

Mary didn’t just teach her daughters life skills.  She taught her daughters (and later her grandchildren) to play card, Sequence, Monopoly and other board games.  And she didn’t let you win--just ask her grandchildren!  You had to earn it.  She delighted in winning the risky bid and especially loved it when she could set Richard in a game of Pitch.  While she always loved playing games with her family, she also enjoyed playing Shoot the Moon with wonderful neighbors and friends.  

In her marriage with Richard, Mary was a partner in countless ways.  She helped in the fields, with the animals, learned bookkeeping, how to use computers for farm records, gardened, canned, cut thistles and cockleburs. And when a snake or badger (not the Wisconsin kind) came near, she was a dead aim with the .410.  One of her son-in-law’s was astounded to find her up on the garage roof replacing shingles.

Mary was very practical, but she was also very creative.  She used cat paws to make bunny tracks at Easter.  She scraped snow off the roof at Christmas so we could see that Santa’s sleigh had been there. She designed prize winning Halloween costumes.   She took a cake decorating class and proceeded to make fun and imaginative birthday and graduation cakes for her grandchildren. One of the cleverest—“Spread the word, Adam is graduating”--featuring a tractor and manure spreader spreading chocolate chips!

As was true of Richard, Mary loved her daughters with all her heart.  But her son-in-laws also became her sons. And she loved her grandchildren’s spouses just as she loved her grandchildren. She was always so happy to share her time, talents, and resources with her family.  She helped in what ever way she could whether it was doing countless loads of their laundry or cleaning yet one more apartment or house that they were moving in or out of.

She was so very humble. When she was informed that Kip named his first daughter, Vivian Mary, she softly, but delightedly said, “I never thought anyone would be named after me.”

 In the last few years, as she lost her hearing and vision, she still enjoyed the music, books on tapes, and visits from family—especially the great grandchildren.  When saying good bye to a visiting daughter, she said, “Not one of you can be replaced by another.”   Her love cannot be replaced, but we will try to honor that love by following her example.

Mary is survived by her daughters: Nancy Quine (Jeff), Linda Finger (Mark), Lisa Rennolet (Ron), Darlene Weborg (Craig); grandchildren: Bret and Cody Quine, Kip Finger (Brittany) and Leigh Schmitz (Danny), Andrew (Becky) and Derek Houdesheldt, Adam (CharLee), Alexander (Jessica), Austin (Makenna) Weborg; 14 great grandchildren and sister-in-law, Martha Pycha (Joe).

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard; her parents, James and Mary Pycha; brothers and sisters: Louis, Joseph (Martha), Antonio, Jimmy (Ruth), and Charles Pycha; Bessie Eicke (Claus), Blanche Hamann (William, Sr.) and Helen Morgan.  

To view a livestream of the funeral please click on the link below.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, June 3, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Munderloh - Smith Funeral Home - Pender

312 McCabe St., Pender, NE 68047

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Christ United Church of Pender

504 Earl St., Pender, NE 68047


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