Theresa J. (Toby) McWilliams, 89, of Bismarck, N.D., went to loved ones on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center with family at her side.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, March 8, at Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center, Bismarck, with Rev. Ed Wehner officiating. Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, March 11, at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.
Theresa was born August 20, 1923, in Devils Lake, N.D., the daughter of Frank and Christine Burckhard. She graduated from Devils Lake Central High School. After graduation, Toby moved to New York via train where she worked in an office until returning back to her roots of Devils Lake where she met and married Capt. Victor (Mac) McWilliams in 1949. They made their home at Camp Grafton until moving to Bismarck in 1963. While at Camp Grafton, Toby and Mac had four children who made camp their personal adventure land. Toby also worked at the Ramsey County Treasurer's Office.
Mac was transferred to Bismarck at Fraine Barracks and Toby worked at the Department of Transportation while raising her family. After many years with DOT she moved on to the Burleigh County Treasures Office until her retirement. Upon Mac's retirement they built their dream ranch south of Bismarck where gardening and hosting parties became a familiar occurrence. After Toby's retirement they enjoyed many winters in Mesa, Ariz. Toby could be found in the pool every morning doing her water exercises or playing bridge with her snowbird friends. Her two sisters and brother also had winter homes in Mesa. Toby looked forward to her annual trips where she and her siblings would share good times and family stories.
Toby was a master seamstress sewing her and her daughter's wardrobes for the finest occasions. She also enjoyed knitting, crocheting and needlepoint which was evident in all of the gifts made for her children, grandchildren, great-children, as well as family and friends
Toby's family and faith were an integral part of her life. Even to the end she attended weekly Mass. While in Bismarck, her day started with morning exercise in the YMCA pool. Spending time with her family and grandchildren brought most joy to Toby, she was often found in the kitchen baking for all to enjoy.
Toby and Mac made lifelong friends in the Cathedral District which shaped their family's Bismarck life.
Toby is survived by her sons, Alan, Bismarck and Victor, Sonoma, Calif.; one daughter, Pattie (Burt) Bismarck; three sisters, Betty (Leo) Johnson, Annandale, Minn., Jeanette Ziegler, Arlington, Tex., Bonnie (Ron) Woodward, Seattle, Wash.; brother, James Burckhard, N.M.; sister-in-law, Dot Burckhard, East Grand Forks, Minn.; grandchildren, Jen (Jeb) Delzer, Wesley Rivinius, McKala (Nic) Nehring, Jaime and Jesse (Emily) Stephan; great-grandchildren, Ali, Alex, Macie, Kyler, and Kaylan Delzer, Ryker John Rivinius Landers, Alex, Marshall, Mason, Brooklyn, and Cali Stephan, Hanna, Hannah, Ella Stephan; and many nieces and nephews.
Page 2 of 2 - Toby was preceded in death by her son, James (Jim) McWilliams; husband, Victor; parents; two sisters and brothers in-law, Ann (Hank) Mertens, Eva (Arlo) Thompson; brother, Frank; brother in-law, Larry Ziegler and great-grandchild, Lillian Delzer;
The family would like to thank Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center staff for their care and support. Toby was always treated as family both spiritually and physically.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
Go to www.eastgatefuneral.com to share memories of Toby and sign the online guestbook.
Eastgate/Parkway Funeral Service, Bismarck, is in charge of arrangements.