Mary Ann F. Oviatt

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Mary Ann Fern Oviatt, 91, of Washington, Iowa, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, at the Washington County Hospital following a short illness.

Celebration of life services will be held Saturday, May 4, at 2 p.m. at the United Presbyterian Home in Washington, Iowa. Private family interment will take place at a later date. 

Mary Ann was born, Jan. 8, 1933, at the family’s farm home in Clayton County, the daughter of Carl J. and Leona (Bahl) Ulbrich. Mary graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Guttenberg. She was the first female in her family to attend college. She graduated as a registered nurse from St. Francis School of Nursing, La Crosse, Wis., received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in 1960 from the University of Iowa, Iowa City and a Master of Science in nursing degree in 1973 from DePaul University, Chicago.

Mary was a registered nurse at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Houston, Texas. Her first teaching post was at Mount Sinai School of Nursing in Chicago, Ill. She taught nursing at St. Francis School of Nursing in La Crosse. She relocated to Chicago in 1967 and joined the faculty at the Northwestern Hospital School of Nursing.

In 1970, Mary married Bill Oviatt of Chicago. In 1980, they moved to Raleigh, N.C., where she worked selling insurance and providing financial planning services and started her own agency. In retirement, Mary moved to Las Vegas, N.M. Mary returned to Iowa to be closer to family in 2018.

Mary was a member of the United Presbyterian Church in Washington. She was an active member of Rotary International for many decades. She enjoyed watercolor painting, landscaping with perennials, gardening, theater productions, classical music, and traveling.

Mary is survived by her stepsons, Greg (Ellen) of Lumberville, Penn. and Brad Oviatt of Mount Vernon, Ohio; step-granddaughters, Rachael Oviatt of West Virginia and Suzie Mesch (Stephen) of Virginia; brother, Paul Ulbrich of Guttenberg; sisters, Rita Jenks of Oak Park, Ill.; Kay (Larry) Gettler of Ankeny, Pat Ulbrich (Claus Makowka) of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Linda Ulbrich (LaVern Pritchard) of Minneapolis, Minn.; sister-in-law, Gail Ulbrich of Anchorage, Alaska; and many nieces and nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; brothers, Carl Ulbrich and Jerome Ulbrich, infant brother, Robert Ulbrich; sisters-in-law, Fran Ulbrich and Janice Ulbrich; and brother-in-law, John Jenks.

Memorials have been established for Alzheimer’s Association, American Heart Association, and Iowa Public Radio. The Jones & Eden Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent for Mary’s family at

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