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Mary R. Wills


1952 - 2019
Mary R. Wills Obituary
Mary R. Wills

Mary R. Wills was born on August 20, 1952 in Denver, Colorado the fourth child of Gerald H. and Mary E Rickert. She passed away July 2, 2019 She is survived by her three siblings Judy, Jane, Grant along with her husband William W. Wills, their two children Andrea E. Wills and Wesley G. Wills their spouses Josh Gilmore and Hillary Tholen as well as a granddaughter Calliope E. Gilmore.

Mary spent most of her childhood growing up in Des Moines, Iowa. At eighteen Mary moved to San Diego, CA where she began a lifetime career working in the medical profession as a greeter /

secretary at Mercy Hospital. While enjoying the sunshine and beaches Mary met a man, Leonard Saunders who convinced her to move north to Oregon and be involved in a communal lifestyle. Mary grew peaches, alfalfa and grains to sell and share with her community. Mary found life growing difficult living with Leonard so she called on a good friend Katie Vannek in California to come and help her move out and back down to the San Diego area again.

Mary moved into a small apart-ment complex in Leucadia, CA where she became a waitress/secretary as well as finding friendship / love while playing basketball with Will, then a substitute teacher, who became her partner and husband for the rest of her life.

Mary and Will moved to Fallbrook, CA another small farming community and started a family. Mary also reopened her medical books and studied to become a medical assistant and drug rehab counselor.

Mary's family grew and prospered with them having two children, Will becoming a full-time member of the Temecula Unified Schools teaching 3, 4 and 5th grades; Mary became a medical assistant for doctors in Fallbrook, the Fallbrook clinic and the Nutri-system diet counselor program; while the children found success in school, T-ball, soccer, Brownies and ballet.

In the summer of 1990, Mary and Will moved north to the mountain community of Idyllwild, CA where they had spent many a happy weekend or holiday vacation enjoying themselves as a family. In their new small community Mary continued her medical career by becoming the school nurse/secretary; Will continued teaching and their children succeeded academically as well as socially with soccer, ballet, school plays and scouting events.

Mary's personal and physical life took a sharp turn at this point as she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1992. Mary moved forward with her counseling career to become a part of the Betty Ford Rehab Center but the progression of the disease of M. S. took it's toll and Mary became wheelchair bound by 2000. The children moved on to college while Mary and Will moved off the mountain to the "flat lands" of Hemet CA.

From that point on Mary's body systems continued to fail and she found herself needing more and more assistance. Urinary catheters, bowel and bladder medications, pain suppressing intrathecal catheters; more continuous wheelchair/bedtime all forced Mary to seek out new outlets for her caring spirit.

Mary turned to self help support groups (National M.S. Society), wheelchair volleyball and community events all her participating and leading other individuals and groups.

Mary's "aging" health collapses and Will's health struggles led them both to move north to the Seattle area near family members.

Mary passed away in a fine Adult Family Nursing Home in Edmonds, WA.

A memorial service was held at:

The Butterworth Funeral Home

Seattle, WA 98119 on July 20, 2019
Published in The Seattle Times on Aug. 11, 2019
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