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  • "Mary Jo was the only female first cousin I ever had. She..."
    - William Nicol, MD
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Our mother, Mary Jo Dwire, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. She was born Mary Jo Armstrong in El Paso, Texas on Aug. 20, 1920. Her family moved to Alamogordo, NM when she was 8 years old. She met Bill Dwire in high school and they were married on Dec. 28, 1939.

As a young wife and mother, Mary Jo's life was devoted to her husband, her two sons: Ron and Jim, and her granddaughter Gail, whom she raised from the age of 2. Due to Bill's military career and job, they lived in Albuquerque, NM; Virginia Beach, VA; Alamogordo, NM; Detroit, MI; Gary, IN; and Birmingham, MI. They resided in Michigan from 1952 to 1985 and then moved to Green Valley, AZ.

Mary Jo developed wonderful friendships with her neighbors in Green Valley and also kept in contact with her friends in Michigan. She and Bill returned to Michigan for several years during the summer months until they purchased their home on Calle Amadeo.

Throughout her life, Mary Jo enjoyed all of the home arts: knitting, crocheting, embroidery, cross-stitch and needlepoint. She made dozens of detailed Christmas ornaments and stockings for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. In Arizona she learned to bead and made intricate beaded necklaces and earrings. She also took lessons in watercolor and oil painting and became an extremely talented artist. Her paintings are proudly displayed throughout her children's and grandchildren's homes.

Mary Jo became very involved in the Woman's Auxiliary Group in Green Valley, and was a band-aide for the Green Valley band. Due to health issues, Mary Jo and Bill moved to La Posada in Green Valley.

Mom truly understood Godly love. She loved unconditionally and shared it freely with family and friends. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, and friend, which is reflected in those whose lives she touched. She was married to Bill for 72 years when he passed away in April of this year.

At her request, Mary Jo was cremated without ceremony. Her family will take her remains to Taos, NM, next spring. Her ashes will be scattered in Hondo Canyon, where her husband, Bill's ashes were scattered.

Mary Jo is survived by two sons: Ron (Judy) Dwire and Jim (Fran) Dwire; five grandchildren: Shari Chaffin, Gail Seymour, Amy Chaffin, John Dwire, and Thomas Dwire along with six great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. She will be terribly missed. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be sent in her memory to her favorite charity, The Animal League of Green Valley, 1600 W. Duval Mine Rd., Green Valley, AZ 85614 or

Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Nov. 13, 2012
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