Mary was born on December 4th, 1949, in Maracaibo, Venezuela; moved with her family to Alliance, Nebraska in 1951, Sterling, Colorado, in 1952, and Tucson, AZ in 1961. In Sterling, she addended St. Anthony’s Grade School, and in Tucson attended St. Ambrose Grade School, and Salpointe Catholic High School. In college, she attended the University of St. Mary in Kansas for one year, and then completed her degree at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She always did exceptionally well in her studies, and presented a difficult act for her siblings to follow.
"In the days prior to television in our home, I remember staging plays for our parents. Mary, being the eldest by a year or two, would of course be the director and costume designer (as well as actor), with Pete and I dutifully rounding-out the cast. It sure wasn’t Shakespeare, but it wasn’t terribly bad." Michael Terry, brother
Mary was married to Steve Schiltz for 25 years, and they had Marian and Stephen Schiltz. She was a mother who celebrated her children uniquely, showed love and interest in their lives, wrote beautifully worded cards, and knew how to throw a party.
"A lasting legacy of her life was in helping the underserved and those in need. She had a tremendous heart, and would never refuse anyone in need. Her mother had been a social worker, and had instilled these values in all of her children." Peter Terry, brother
Highlights of her community outreach include being president of Tucson Forward and Pima Association of Tax Payers Dollars, and co-editing the Education Reporter with Debbie Niwa, a long time friend of over 20 years.
Mary also was involved in TUSD, including advocating to keep Catalina High School open, and working tirelessly along side her best friend for over 30 years, and previous school board member herself, Gloria Copeland.
When Mary's daughter said to her, "It is hard to lose a best friend." Gloria Copeland responded, "It's even harder to lose your mother."
"For now, let me say, I really love your mom." -Terry Riley, next door neighbor
"She was tenacious when it came to a project." John Rice, partner
Mary died of natural causes on Friday, September 9th, 2022, at home, in Tucson, AZ.
"Mary will be greatly missed." Debbie Niwa, friend.