On Monday 6 May 2013, Mary Louise (Jungjohann) Praetzel died after a long illness in her Redwood City home of 60 years surrounded by loved ones and treasured mementos of a long full life.
Mary Louise was born on 13 August 1924, to Harry Jungjohann and Mollie (Johnson) Jungjohann in Crockett, CA. She graduated at the top of her class from John Swett High School in Crockett in 1942 and entered UC Berkeley. In the patriotic spirit of the times, Mary Louise set aside her desired Anthropology major and studied pre-nursing, eventually finishing the cadet nurse program at UC San Francisco in 1946.
While working a brief summer job at the C&H sugar refinery in Crockett, Mary Louise first spied her future husband, Conrad Praetzel. Fittingly, Mary Louise's father had fallen for her mother Mollie in the same place. Circumstances kept Mary Louise and Conrad from connecting for years until Conrad returned briefly to Crockett after serving in World War II . The two married on 2 October 1948.
Within five years, the couple had four children, with two more spaced at greater four-year intervals. Mary Louise returned to work as a nurse at the Redwood City Kaiser maternity ward in 1967 where she loved working with the new mothers. After retirement, Mary and Conrad enjoyed Maui trips for twenty-five consecutive years where they visited their son and enjoyed the sun, swimming and tennis with friends.
Mary Louise had an effervescent, caring and loving personality. With a quick wit and easy laugh, Mary was a master at coaxing a smile from anyone she met. She loved telling a story and had the gift of setting all those around her at ease. She enjoyed playing piano, paint by number oil painting, needlepoint, knitting, swimming the backstroke and doing the morning crossword puzzles.
Mary Louise is survived by her beloved husband of 64 years, Conrad Praetzel Jr.; her twin brother, Kenneth Jungjohann; her six children and their partners: Mary Praetzellis (Adrian Praetzellis), Conrad Praetzel III (Cheryl Itamura), Thomas Praetzel, Mollie Brinkley (Bob Brinkley), Doug Praetzel (Sharon Praetzel), Eloice Helms (John Helms); seven grandchildren and their partners: Maria LaCalle (Eduardo LaCalle), Jessica Wood (Benjamin Wood), Devin Brinkley (Jennifer Coca Brinkley), Danielle Brinkley (David Miller), Jack Praetzellis (Denise Cho), Meghan Helms, Natalie Helms; six great-grandchildren: Hayley Wood, Nataley Wood, Ayden Wood, Sydney Wood, Diana LaCalle, Kingston Brinkley; and her loving caretaker Ofa Taufa.
Private services were held on Mother's Day at Redwood Chapel in Redwood City.