Mary J. Duckert, an author, children’s worker and Christian educator who touched the lives of countless Presbyterians during a decades-long career, died Oct. 25 in Portland, Ore., after suffering a stroke a month earlier.

A Cottage Grove, Wisc., native and graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Duckert felt a call to Christian education ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) while on a youth mission trip. She graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and served churches in Hammond, Ind., Libertyville, Ill. and Cleveland Heights, Ohio, as Christian educator and children’s ministry leader.

At the national level, she served as secretary for elementary resources for Church Educational Services of the Board of Christian Education of the former United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and as a Publication Department field representative for Westminster Press in the southwest and northwest United States.

Duckert wrote and edited an array of curriculum resources and Christian education books. She was the author of the best-selling Help! I’m a Sunday School Teacher, which was in print for 25 years.

In 1995, Duckert received the “Educator of the Year” award from the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE), the highest Christian education honor bestowed by the PC(USA).

Services are pending at First Presbyterian Church in Portland.