Obituary: Mary Elizabeth Staley
Mary Elizabeth Staley
Our dear mother, Mary Elizabeth Staley, took her final breath on September 7, 2019, at 7:31 a.m. She passed peacefully as she reached out for the hand of Jesus, in a dimly lit, quiet room of Central Washington Hospital. She was surrounded by her family and caring, compassionate staff. Her, and our father’s favorite hymn, “It Is No Secret What God Can Do,” played softly. Mom suffered a stroke on Memorial Day of this spring, and her summer was filled with doctor and therapy appointments as she fought to recover. Recover she did!
We were so proud of her as she was released from her therapies, and we looked forward to Thanksgiving and all of our blessings. Sadly, she suffered a second stroke early in the morning on September 6, 2019, from which she would not be able to recover. We are thankful for the extra three months that God gave us to spend time together as a family and to love on her. We are especially thankful for the extra 20 hours that God allowed during her final breaths, giving us time to tell her again and again how very much she was loved.
She was born in Wenatchee, WA, on February 2, 1931, to L.E. and Juna Wilson of Cashmere, WA. She spent all of her growing years in Cashmere, before attending Washington State University, graduating with a degree in psychology. She lived 88 blessed years.
Mom was an adventurous woman with many talents. She was a mountain climber in her 20’s, scaling heights and summits that no other women at that time would attempt. She was an excellent rifle marksman, a passion and skill that she learned from her father. The L.E. Wilson Gun Shop still exists in Cashmere. She traveled all over the U.S., competing alongside her father, earning many awards and trophies. She was a skilled photographer, both of nature and of people. The walls of her home are decorated with many of her photos. She also was a seamstress, quilter, and did fine needle point projects. All of her family has something beautiful handmade by her. Her greatest joy was in being mom to four children: Jim, Lenore, and twins, Paul and Ellen, all born within three and a half years. It was a busy time, and she was a mom who was active in every stage of our lives, from infancy to now. Her family has grown to include 17 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, with more expected. She loved all of us unconditionally, with Christ’s great love as her example and guide.
Our father, Lester Eugene “Gene” Staley, was the love of her life for more than 62 years. They married in the Cashmere Baptist Church, in 1957, with God and family as their witnesses. Mom and Dad lived out their marriage vows every day of the rest of their time together. They worked hard all of their lives, Dad as a banker and Mom a homemaker, and truly set forth a legacy of living and loving that challenges those left behind to follow. Their quiet faith, their passion for family, their humility, their steadfast love and devotion to each other are only a few of the things that others noticed about them. It was not “him” or “her,” it was always “them.” Their strength was especially apparent in recent months, as they worked together to maintain their independence in their home, even as it was becoming more difficult. To put it simply, theirs was an extraordinary love.
In closing, please read an excerpt from the words read to Mom by Dad two weeks before her unexpected passing. We had gathered as a family to celebrate his birthday, and her stroke recovery. He was wearing his Korean War era U.S. Army uniform to surprise her. It was a poignant moment; even more so now that we know what the next two weeks would bring. “… 64 years ago, Mary was living and working in Cashmere. That same year, my tour of duty ended and I returned to Cashmere, wondering what to do with the rest of my life. Then the two of us met, and there was the rest of our lives … ”
Goodbye My Love, and goodbye Mom. We miss your presence so much. We love you always and forever, and we will see you again! You ran the race so incredibly well. Hebrews 12:1
Funeral services are planned for Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., at the Quincy Free Methodist Church, 301 1st St. SW, Quincy, WA, with Pastor Shaun McNay officiating. A private family gathering will follow.