Cover photo for Mary O. Steckbauer's Obituary
1936 Mary 2024

Mary O. Steckbauer

May 4, 1936 — March 19, 2024

El Cajon

Mary O. Steckbauer passed away peacefully at her daughter Marie’s home in El Cajon, CA on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. 


Born May 4, 1936 in Lynn, Massachusetts to Margaret and Rudolph Jimenez. She was the fourth of five spirited sisters who remained close to one another throughout their lives. She moved to San Diego CA in her teenage years. She graduated from Rosary Catholic High School and then the University of San Diego (formerly the San Diego College for Women) with her teaching credential. She later earned her master’s degree in Education from Pepperdine University. 


Mary taught middle school/junior high English at various campuses for San Diego City Schools during her 35+ year career. She taught and inspired students at Dana Junior High School, O’Farrell Performing Arts School, Keillor Middle School, and Lewis Junior High School.  She was a dedicated English/Writing/Literature Mentor teacher to her colleagues for many years and always had a passion for nurturing her students’ creativity. 


Mary married her beloved Mark Steckbauer at the Immaculata Church at USD, and they were married for 47 years until his passing in 2007. Their marriage was filled with laughter and centered on their Catholic faith. Some of their happiest married years were spent as a young family in Brazil and then enjoying time together at their condo in Ogden UT (both learning to snow ski in their 50s!). They also traveled to Ireland and Germany to visit with family and friends. She is survived by her daughters and their husbands, Marie and William Kane, Monica and Dean Pfirrman, and Melanie and Brian Hagerty as well as five grandchildren: Kelsey Bernal, Trevor Pfirrman, Edward Hagerty, Joseph Hagerty, and Maeve Hagerty.  She is also survived by her brother, Glenn Jimenez, and many nieces and nephews. 

Mary was truly devoted to her Catholic faith. She was a longtime parishioner of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church where she taught religious education classes, supported the RCIA program, served as a Eucharistic Minister, and was an active member of the OLG Catholic Women’s Club. Mary and Mark regularly prayed together at Our Lady of Grace’s Adoration Chapel in the very early morning hours. In addition to going to Sunday Mass, Mary attended 8am daily Mass and loved seeing all the OLG Catholic school students during the schoolwide Masses. Mark and Mary were active in the Cursillo movement, and she continued to meet with her Cursillo prayer group until she became ill in November 2023.  


Mary was known lovingly as “Nana” to her five grandchildren. Kelsey and Trevor loved all the special moments with their Nana – she would visit them as often as she could or when they would have a family trip to San Diego, and Nana and Grampy would take them to the Zoo, the beach, or just to get ice cream treats. For Edward, Joseph, and Maeve – Nana was a blessing as she cared for them after school and during school breaks. They discovered that while she had rules, her number one rule was love – and she made sure to celebrate their birthdays, Sacrament days, school achievements with smiles, hugs, and cards…and frequent surprise after school stops for frozen yogurt. 


Mary treasured her lifelong friends from high school, college, teaching, and Our Lady of Grace. She loved getting together for fun, for sharing stories about families, for bridge (she was an avid player), and for laughter.  


Other favorite interests included memberships in the San Diego Chapter of the Belleek Collectors Society, the East County Rose Society, the San Diego State University Retirement Association and the California Retired Teachers Association, Division 69.   


Mary will be buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in a private service the first week of April. A memorial Celebration of Life Mass will be on Wednesday, May 29th, at 11am at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church (2766 Navajo Road, El Cajon CA 92020) followed by the reception in the church hall. Family and friends are welcome to attend and share stories of our dear Mary. 


In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Our Lady of Grace School - Gerard Family Endowment at the Catholic Community Foundation San Diego website, CCFSD site. Alternatively, you can make a donation to Sharp Hospice, She received great care and they were very supportive to us throughout this journey.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary O. Steckbauer, please visit our flower store.


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