"Mary Joan (Derks) Drozda, 50, of rural Bellwood, died Friday, December 6, 2013,
Mary Joan was born April 23, 1963, in Nebraska City to Edward and Angela Derks. She attended school in Nebraska City where she excelled in academics and sports. Mary Jo was in National Honor Society, member of the band and drill team, carried the school record for hurdles, and played volleyball and JV basketball. Mary Jo was runner-up to Miss Teen Nebraska in July 1979. In addition, Mary Jo was also voted Nebraska City Arbor Day Queen.
After graduating from Nebraska City Senior High School in 1981, Mary Jo attended UNL for two years, and was a member of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, the Newman center choir, the Student Education Association, Mu Epsilon Nu Teachers College Honorary Society, and the Triangle Little Sisters. Mary Jo also worked at the University Infant care center during her college years. Mary Jo had a deep faith and decided to pursue the calling to the Marian Sisters Community in September of 1983 & lived at Marycrest Motherhouse, Waverly NE through March 1984. Her family recalls that Mary Jo was discerning if God wanted her to be a Marian Sister, or someday marry and become a Mother. After continued prayer, Mary Jo returned to UNL and completed her double major in Elementary Education and Special Education.
While at UNL, Mary Jo met the love of her life, Joe Drozda. On September 27, 1986, they were married at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Paul, NE. Mary Jo taught Special Education at Schuyler Central High School. They were members of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Schuyler and began raising a family. They moved to Bellwood, where Mary Jo home-schooled their children. Mary Jo was a member of Presentation Catholic Church of Marietta, belonged to the Omaha Catholic Home School Association, and attended Barb's School of Dance with her children in Columbus. She was very active in scouting and a proud mother of three Eagle Scouts. Faith, family and any activity of the children, consumed her life.
Mary Joan is survived by her husband, Joseph F. Drozda of Bellwood, seven children; Alex, Jacob and Zachary, all attending UNL and Peter, Jonathan, Jackie and Jeremy, all at home, her mother, Angela Derks of Omaha, four sisters; Laura Derks, New London, Connecticut, Karen Rudebusch, Omaha, Susan Schubert, Omaha, Jean Derks, Grand Junction, Colorado, and two brothers; Greg (Jodi) Derks of Firth and Ed (Diane) Derks of Omaha. She was preceded in death by her father, Edward Derks, infant daughter Mary Elizabeth, and her parents-in-law, Evan and Dorothy Drozda.
MASS of CHRISTIAN BURIAL on Thursday at 10:30 AM, St. Mary's Catholic Church, Schuyler. VISITATION Wednesday 3-7, with PM ROSARY SERVICE, all at the Church. KRACL FUNERAL CHAPEL 1622 F Street Schuyler, NE 402-352-8700.
Page 2 of 2 - MEMORIALS-In care of the family.