Mary Schratz Balch, 86, departed this life to be with her Lord on November 5, 2017 at Wood-Lawn Heights Nursing Home in Batesville, Arkansas.
She was born on July 30, 1931, in Newport, the daughter of the late Ollie Schratz and Gladys Mills Schratz.
Mary was a graduate of Newport High School and a lifelong parishioner of St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Newport. She was a gifted musician and served over 50 years as the church’s organist. A working mother, she served her community as a dispatcher for the Newport Police Department and retired in 2002 after 27 years at the Jackson County Department of Human Services. Mary loved to crochet and read. She was also a skilled cook, frequently preparing large meals for friends and family. Her life was enriched by a Jack Russell Terrier named Molly, whom she—and she alone—dearly loved. A wonderful mother and grandmother, she took pride in passing down her passion for music, crocheting, and cooking to her daughters and granddaughters. Though her efforts were valiant, none would be able to match her giftedness in these areas. Her love for her family was only surpassed by her love for Jesus Christ and His Church.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ollie Schratz and Gladys Mills Schratz, her brother, Joe Schratz, an infant son, and her stepdaughter, Teresa Hartin.
Mary’s legacy lives on in those she leaves behind, including her three daughters, Ann Elmer (Ron) of Batesville, Nancy McKay (Pat) of Fayetteville, and Lynn Nicholson (Sam) of Newport; her stepdaughter, Jennie Blaty (Richard) of Austin, AR; her six grandchildren, Melissa Settle (Sam) of Fort Smith, Carrie Sullins of Batesville, Brandon Sullins of Batesville, Brett Nicholson (Nikki) of Newport, Becca Hand (David) of Dallas, TX, and Kelly McKinney (Paul) of Newport; and her 11 great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Jackson’s Funeral Home in Newport, followed by a rosary prayer service at 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 8 at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Newport, followed by interment at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Newport. The pallbearers will be Sam Nicholson, Pat McKay, Ron Elmer, Brett Nicholson, Brandon Sullins, Paul McKinney, Sam Settle, and David Hand.
Mary’s family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to the staff of Wood-Lawn Nursing Home and Dr. Verona Brown in Batesville for the loving care they extended to her during the time of her residency. For lasting memorials, please consider making a donation in Mary’s name to St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church.