Maureen Camille Story, 82, a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War era, died peacefully in her sleep in Jacksonville, Fla. on Sept. 28, 2017.
A feisty New Yorker, born Oct. 1, 1934, “Aunt Maureen” was known for her love of pasta and soda. She honorably served her country from 1954-1956 out of Snelling Air Force Station in St. Paul, Minn. as an intelligence operations specialist in headquarters of the 31st Air Division for the Air Defense Command (ADC), now the Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
As an Air Force specialist, Aunt Maureen traveled under “Secret” orders to play on a women’s basketball team with other women service members. Her attentiveness, curly hair and bright blue eyes earned her the nickname “Lassie” from instructors and classmates at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colo.
She was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and was a past member of the Women Veterans of Nevada, an organization which worked to promote the Women in Service Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
After leaving the service, Aunt Maureen stayed in the Minnesota cold for nearly two decades, working as an accountant, beautifying her home, and traveling internationally until relocating to California and then Las Vegas to care for her ailing mother.
In the final year of her life, after her niece became her guardian, Aunt Maureen was flown by the VA to Jacksonville where she celebrated her birthday and spent the holidays basking in the warm glow of family. She sang and told stories about her early years growing up on the tough streets of New York City. With just a mom to put food on the table, she said sometimes it was necessary to ask the local bakery for bread � just to survive. This didn’t stop her from being an accomplished swimmer and organist, however, and she loved to read and listen to Polka’s reminiscent of her grandmother’s native Poland.
Sitting outside to soak up the Florida sun reminded Aunt Maureen of the time she spent at her grandparent’s farm in upstate New York. A lifelong Catholic, she loved poetry, kittens and children.
She was preceded in death by a brother, Air Force Veteran John Henry Story, Jr. who was living in Honduras at the time of his death in February 2017; her mother, Wanda Balcerak Story, who died in Las Vegas in April 1999; and her father, John Henry Story, Sr. who was buried in Long Island, New York in 1961.
Story is survived by her Jacksonville niece, Joni Story Hannigan, and her husband, John; her great niece, Belinda Hannigan Brannock; and her great nephew John J. Hannigan III and his wife, Melissa. She is also survived by great-great nieces Madelyn, Elizabeth, and Charlotte Hannigan, and Clare Brannock; and great-great nephews, John J. Hannigan IV (Joey) and Clark Brannock.
She is also survived by nieces Ramona Story Steckmann-Crowell and her husband Crandon of Sandpoint, Ida., and Alexandra Dadovich-Story Santaella and her husband Fernando of Ely, Nevada; a great niece Katherine Steckmann Benjamin and her husband Dan, of Mesa, Ariz.; a great nephew, Joseph T. Steckmann Jr. and his wife, Mikaela, of Sandpoint, Ida.; and great-great nieces Isabella and Lillianna; and great-great nephew, Joseph T. Steckmann III.
A memorial at Jacksonville National Cemetery will be announced at a later date.
Arrangements under the direction of Naugle Schnauss Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 808 Margaret Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32204 904-683-9288