To view Mary's celebration of Life, Click Here. A Lively and Lovely Life Mary Fidelis (nee McHugh) Wellendorf passed away on August 21, 2013. If you are reading this you know that there is more to Mary than mere dates and factual information. She was a loyal and loving wife, she was a devoted mother, a caring grand-mother and in her last years a doting great-grandmother. Mary, if anything, was a passionate woman. As indicated, she was passionate about her family. But, Mary was also passionate about more than her loved ones. She was passionate about her friends. While working, she was passionate about doing it well. While volunteering at the Tucson Opera League, she was passionate about her role as treasurer, serving for over 15 years and keeping the books as if a part of the U.S. Treasury (perhaps a tad better). Mary had a passion for seeing the world. Her travels included trips to China, Russia, France, Spain, Ireland, England, Egypt, Israel, Greece, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. It was this passion for traveling that sent her on her journey of life as she must have been born with it. Mary was born in San Bernadino, California, October 26, 1927, to James Patrick McHugh and Mary Catherine Hochstatter. She was the first of four children; sisters, Jean and Helen (to whom she referred as the "Little Girls" and brother, James. As a result, of her father's death, Mary went with her mother and siblings, to Nevada, Missouri, where she would spend her childhood and young adulthood. Mary and her siblings were raised by an uncle and aunt, Joe and Florence Hochstatter. As any person who was part of a farming family, Mary had daily chores before and after school as well as working the fields in the summer. A decision to have a different life may have come when Mary found herself on a cultivator behind a runaway team of horses that did not stop until they had traveled two miles back to the barnyard and finally stopped at the barnyard gate. Aunt Florence said you could hear Mary screaming the entire way!!! Despite her harrowing experience with the runaway horses, Mary managed to stay alive and graduate from Nevada High School with honors (not surprising since she did everything with passion). Again, after graduating from high school, Mary's desire to see more of the world dictated her life's path. Immediately upon graduation in 1945, Mary stayed in Nevada, Missouri, working at Richardson's auto dealership as a bookkeeper. Soon, however, she decided to move to St. Louis, Missouri, where she lived with her mother while working for the Civil Service. Working for the Civil Service was a stepping stone to seeing the world as Mary requested a foreign assignment. In 1950, her requested was honored and Mary found herself on the way to Tokyo, Japan. This move to Japan would truly shape her life. Working for the Civil Service, Mary was assigned as a secretary to Colonel Schelenberger, who along with his wife were very kind to Mary. One of the responsibilities of military personnel assigned to Japan was the reconstruction of the country. Colonel Schelenberger as a medical doctor was assigned to setting up health centers to assist the Japanese people and Mary's job was to support him in this endeavor. While working in this department, Mary was introduced to Lieutenant Colonel Leonard (Wally to his friends) Edward Wellendorf, by Colonel Schelenberger. While it may not have been love at first sight, there was an attraction between the two that sparked a romance. However, kind of like her episode with the runaway horses, Mary's romance was not to follow an easy path. In 1952, the Army re-assigned Wally back to the United States to Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, near Denver. Diagnosed with tuberculosis, Wally underwent surgery to remove part of his lung and was assigned to several months of medical leave. As Mary was passionate about her feelings for Wally, she was not going to let this relationship die. So, Mary sought Colonel Schelenberger's aid and received a re-assignment to the United States at Fitzsimons Army Hospital as an inventory clerk. In the end Wally's passion for Mary equaled hers and they married at Fitzsimons Army Hospital on October 9, 1952. In the beginning of their marriage, Wally was still on medical leave. It was during this time that the couple visited both Nevada, Missouri, and the Los Angeles area to see family and friends and share the news of their marriage. The couple traveled through Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada (Lake Tahoe was a favorite spot of Wally's) and California. After these visits across much of the United States, they took a honey moon (or Luna de Miel in Spanish) outside of Guadalajara, Mexico in Ajijic, which is located on Lake Chapala. Eventually, Wally was re-assigned to Tokyo, Japan and the couple returned to the country where they met. During this tour of duty, Mary and Wally would see both of their children born; Andrea,their daughter, and Brian, their son. They would also celebrate Wally's promotion to full Colonel. Mary's traveling would not end in Japan. After all, she had married a career military officer. In 1957, the family returned to the United States as Wally was assigned as an ROTC instructor at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Mary would support him as a military wife and raise the children. After his assignment with the University of Oregon, Wally was assigned to Vietnam serving as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Army. Mary stayed in Eugene while Wally tended to his duties in Vietnam. Upon returning from Vietnam, Wally was assigned to the 14th Army Corps headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After spending four years (including very cold winters) in Minneapolis, Wally retired from the Army with 32 years of service. Retiring would take Mary to Tucson, Arizona. Tucson would become home to Mary as she spent 49 years in the Old Pueblo. She and Wally took up golf when they first moved to Tucson. They enjoyed their home and surrounding desert as well as the colorful sunsets Tucson provides. Together they saw both of their children graduate from high school and college and start families of their own. Mary supported her husband through his last journey on earth. She returned to work in the banking field and enjoyed the challenges there. Mary volunteered with the Opera League serving as treasurer and supporting Casa de Los Ninos. Through all this activity, she still managed to see the world. She traveled with friends and family members. One memorable trip was with sisters, Helen and Jean, to Ireland. They became known as the McHugh Sisters and were quite the trio visiting castles and churches as well as kissing the Blarney Stone. (The three of them already had the gift to gab!) As she slowed down, her travels kept her closer to Tucson. Mary loved seeing her grandchildren. She felt blessed to have seen them all graduate from high school and become successful young adults. Mary especially loved to see her great-grandchildren when they played around her home. As with all grandparents, she has the most beautiful and wonderful grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the world. While she has traveled her last here, Mary will still see the world as she will not be lost to those who she leaves behind. Her passion will continue as she continues to inspire through those who love her. Bon voyage, Mary!!