Karrie Pecka (Karoline Kathlein Schreiber), a longtime resident of Los Gatos and Saratoga, Calif., passed away due to natural causes on July 25, 2010, at the Los Gatos Terraces Health Center.
Born August 16, 1918, in Quinn, S.D., she was a daughter of Henry (Heinrich) F. Schreiber and Anna M. Pippert of rural Pennington County, S.D.
Born at the end of World War I, Karrie grew up on a dryland farm in "God's Country" out east of Wall, S.D.
The nearest town by dirt road was Quinn; Cottonwood and Phillip were further to the southeast.
One of six Schreiber siblings (all who survived to adulthood and marriage) Karrie graduated from Quinn High School and pursued nursing as an early career to widen her horizons from her rural American upbringing. Both of the Schreiber and Pippert families worked the land during both blizzard and drought, and their hardscrabble existence was punctuated by twisters, prairie fires, the dust bowl and the Great Depression - on top of everyday travails with poor crops, low commodity prices, shortages of country doctors and "store-bought" items.
The family prevailed and Karrie and several siblings entered military service during World War II, signing up for "the duration." Educated and trained in nursing at Pierre, S.D., Karrie's skills were in demand and she served at The Yankton Veterans Hospital and on active duty as an Army Flight Nurse until marriage and discharge after the end of the war. She served proudly as a 1st Lieutenant in the Air Evacuation Nursing Service in the United States Army Air Corps. She maintained her Registered Nurse credentials intact throughout her adult life as a matter of pride in, and support for, her chosen profession, although she did not actively practice nursing once becoming a wife, mother and homemaker full-time.
She had married Wilbur John Pecka, an Army aviator from Cicero, Ill. (born June 7, 1918) on July 21, 1945, in the Base Chapel, at Fort Dix (previously Camp Kilmer), New Jersey. The small ceremony was in full military dress and attended by Army friends.
The marriage produced one son, Jeffrey, of Centennial, Colo., who survives his mother and laments her loss.
Karrie greatly enjoyed gardening, Bible study, reading, and international travel, and was a longtime active member of the Saratoga Presbyterian Church in California.
In her final years, Karoline (Karrie) suffered declining health after the passing of her husband, and she resided at the Terraces of Los Gatos (Santa Clara County, Calif.) until the end of her days. Karrie was attended until her passing by her son, Jeffrey and his spouse Laura Lea Zimmerly of Pandora, Ohio, who comforted her in her later years and who pray daily for her soul and that of her loving husband Wilbur. Karrie received a Christian blessing and military burial with honors on her passing.
She was interred beside her popular and wonderful husband of over 60 years, Wilbur, under a redwood tree at Madronia Cemetery in Saratoga, Calif.
May the Lord bless their souls and reunite them so they can rest in peace, together forever; good Christians, good citizens and good friends to so many, many wonderful people they knew along the way.