Published in Idaho Statesman on Oct. 15, 2015
Mary Anne Young Ocker 1936 ~ 2015
Mary Anne Young Ocker, wife, mother, sister and friend passed away at home on
October 12, 2015, at the age of 79.
Born April 28, 1936, to Harold and Anne Young in Washington D.C., MaryAnne was
welcomed to the family by her parents and big brother, Harold. MaryAnne's father,
Harold Sr, was a dentist. The family home was a row house in D.C., with the office on
the main floor and the family living above. The whole family loved to get away and spend
time at the family cottage on Back Bay Beach.
After graduating from Eastern High school "1953" at 17, Mary Anne attended nursing
school at Duke University, where she met a young medical student named John Ocker.
She graduated with a bachelor's degree from Duke, becoming a registered nurse in
June of 1957, and happily married John on July 13, 1957.
The newlyweds started their married life at Cherry Point, N.C., and their first son, John
M. Ocker III, was born there in 1958. School and military service done, they moved with
their toddler son to Oregon, where John would complete his medical residency, and
Karen and James were born in Portland.
In 1963, with Mary Anne at the wheel, three kids and 3 dogs were loaded up into a
station wagon for Boise, while John drove the moving truck to Boise to start in private
practice with their good friends the Heckers. Mary Anne and Edwina Hecker, became
good friends and their support for their husbands and children was unflagging. Kirsten
was born 1 year after they arrived in Boise, and Mary Anne managed 3 children under 5
with tenacity and humor.
Besides being an involved and caring wife and mother, Mary Anne was also involved in
the community. Active in the Boise Junior League and the Idaho Medical Society. In
1970, she made time to bring a fifth child into the world, Gerald.
Mary Anne loved to read and loved words, and she passed this love on to all 5 of her
children. She loved animals, especially dogs, and she was always your ally when
bringing home a stray. When John retired from private practice, they decided to follow a
dream of living on a farm, and purchased forty acres outside of Kuna. There they had
lots of dogs, and enjoyed building a vineyard.
After her children were grown, she and her friends started a book club, and Mom often
expressed how she loved the support of these old, dear friends. John and Mary Anne
both have suffered strokes in the last 2 years, reluctantly moving into Boise. She kept
her sense of humor through it all, and was enjoyed by many of her caregivers at United
Hospice, and Home Instead, whose care allowed them to stay at home.
Mary Anne is survived by her husband of 58 years, John; and her brother, Harold and
his wife, Joan and their 2 daughters, Anne and Jennifer. She is remembered with love
by her 5 children and 13 grandchildren. Her parents precede her in death.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in her name to the Idaho Humane Society or the Kuna
A memorial service will be held at Summers Funeral Home, 1205 W. Bannock Street,
Boise on Monday afternoon, October 19, 2015 at 2 pm.
A celebration of life will follow at the Stonehouse building behind the Boise Ram
Restaurant and Brewpub.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Mary Anne's webpage at