Mary Elaine (Unrau) Birky entered Heaven and the arms of her Savior on January 3, 2023. Mary was born in Newton, Kansas November 3, 1940, to Walter R. and Verna (Schmidt) Unrau. She graduated from Newton High School in 1958. Mary attended Bethel College Nursing Program and did clinicals at Bethel Deaconess Hospital in Newton, in the RN Program. Mary’s first job was at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. On her first day she met an orderly named Dwight Birky and it was love at first sight. They married June 8, 1963. Soon after, they moved to Longview, Texas where she established a student health clinic for LeTourneau College. Dwight and Mary lived in Longview for 13 years and had 3 children before moving to Adair, Oklahoma in 1977. Mary worked in healthcare as an RN for over 50 years, including at Claremore Regional Medical Center and various home health agencies. Mary and Dwight also had the Wildwood Cafe in Pryor, OK, with their son-in-law Rob as chef. Mary was known for her excellent homemade pies and desserts. She also enjoyed antiquing, painting, playing piano, and her flower gardens. Mary was active at Grace Bible Church for many years, playing piano for services and leading women’s Bible studies. She was well known and loved throughout the area and enjoyed many friends.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., on January 22, 2023, at the Grace Bible Church in Pryor. To leave her family a message, please visit her Guestbook at www.shipmansfuneralhome.com. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Shipman’s Funeral & Cremation Service of Pryor.
She is survived by her husband R. Dwight Birky, her daughter Tammy Koschnitzke and husband Rob, her daughter Julie Birky, and her son David Birky and wife Charlene, as well as 6 grandchildren, her sister Donna Klassen and numerous nieces and nephews whom she loved.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.