February 23, 2016 ~ November 23, 2016
Resided in: Pueblo, CO
Mary Estelle Williams Speaks was born on February 28, 1919 at El Moro, Colorado north of Trinidad, Colorado to parents, Francis Marion Williams and Tempe Orbine Hawkes Williams. At the time, Frank, her father, was in France at the end of WWI. She departed this body and life on November 23, 2016 in Springfield, Colorado at the age of 97 ¾. Mary spent her years growing up in El Moro, Hoehne, and Trinidad. She had two brothers, Keith and Bobby, and one sister, Jean. The children were all very close to both their parents and each other through all their years. Mary graduated in 1936 from Hoehne High School as the Valedictorian of her class. She graduated from Trinidad State Jr. College in 1938 and began her teaching career in several different one-room schoolhouses. She would live with one of her student's families and then usually walk or ride to the school every morning, where she would fire up the wood burning stove and then begin her classes. A few of the places she taught were Weston, Deertrail, and El Moro, where she was principal at a three teacher school. Mary was enthralled with the thought of service to her country after WWII started, so she interrupted her teaching at El Moro to join the WAAC, the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps, before it became the WAC (Women's Army Corps.) She was a sergeant and became an ambulance and convoy driver in the states. A reporter once took her picture as she leaned out the window of the ambulance she was driving and printed it in the Armed Forced Newspaper under the headline: The Smilingest WAC in the Army! Mary met Donald Speaks, who was also stationed in Louisville, Kentucky, recuperating from severe wounds he had suffered in a battle in the South Pacific. He was Mary's ideal man: tall, good-looking, black hair, and blue eyes. Don was the love of Mary's life, and they were married about a year later. Mary and Don lived in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where Don was raised, for about three years. The two boys were born there, and then the little family moved to Pueblo, Colorado, where their two girls were born. The four children born to this union were: Donald Francis, Dennis Bradford, Linda Rae, and Temara Kay. Don built a beautiful house on the hill above the Arkansas River on Baxter Road 10 miles west of Pueblo, and the family lived there until after Don died and all the children were married. Mary stayed there until her sister, Jean, and her husband, Earl, bought land in Pueblo West and talked Mary into buying the lot next to theirs. Living next to one another was a source of company and security while Mary was on her own. Mary's life's work was her career teaching school. After her time in the army during the war, she didn't return to teaching until her children were all in school. She then became a teacher in the fifth grade at North Mesa Elementary and truly found her place and her gift. She loved her students and she learned as much as she taught over the years. Mary was a joiner and a doer. She was a member of PTAs while her children were in school and she was always involved in the NEA/CEA teachers' union. She was a strong member of the Democratic Party in Pueblo, CO, being selected as 'Democrat of the Year' one year. She was President of The Pueblo Irish Club for years. She was a member of The League of Women Voters and also in the Retired Teachers Organization. In addition to her formal club memberships, Mary belonged to several close friends' groups: her Canasta Club, and the Greedy Greedy bunch of friends which met monthly. After several years on her own in her house in Pueblo West, Mary's youngest daughter, Temara, moved in with her to take care of the house and yard and her mother as the years went on. After Temara died in 2015, Mary was able to stay on for a while longer until her accidental fall, an injury from which she was unable to recover. Mary is survived by her children and their spouses: Donnie and Loretta; Denny and Sylvia; and Linda and Quizy Lusk; her grandchildren and their spouses: Shannon Speaks and Adam Gazzola, Destry and Missy Lusk, Megan Speaks, Yancy and Tom Kendrick, Hillary and Matt Faichne, Kelsey Speaks, and Klancey Speaks. Also, her great grandchildren: Quade Lusk, London Lusk, Seychelle Lusk, Quent Lusk, Elenor Speaks, and Mallory Kendrick. She was preceded in death by her husband Donald Speaks; her daughter, Temara Speaks; her granddaughter, Jessica Speaks; great granddaughter, Sophia Speaks; and her grandson, Keith Allen Speaks; by all of her childhood family: her father and mother, Frank and Tempe Williams; Her brother Keith Williams and his wife Mary Jean; Her sister Marjorie Jean and husband, Earl McClung; and her brother, Robert Williams and his wife Camille. Please send communication c/o Linda Lusk at 28021 County Road 21 in Springfield, CO 81073.
My condolences to the family, in the near future, growing old and death will be removed forever – Revelation 21:3, 4; Psalm 83:18.
I knew Mary from the League of Women Voters. Such intelligence and wit! She was a lovely woman.
I remember Mary so fondly from League of Women Voters and Helen’s Angels. What a great lady and so much fun.
I was blessed to know Mary through playing for many Democratic Party functions. She was an amazing woman. Condolences to her family. She will be missed.