Mary Louise Sekelsky, 79, of Colfax, Wisconsin, died at home on Sunday, April 25. In recent years she had been required to use oxygen due to several health issues.
Mary was born on April 5, 1942, in Owatonna, Minnesota, to Milo Martig and Thelma (Swenson) Martig. Her family lived on a farm near West Concord, Minnesota. Later, they moved to Rochester, Minnesota. Mary developed a strong work ethic from doing chores on the farm and earning money during the summer by picking berries.
Mary graduated from West Concord High School in 1960 as covaledictorian. After graduating from Rochester Junior College as valedictorian in 1962, she enrolled at the University of Minnesota from which she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Education in 1964.
Her three younger siblings often described Mary as kind, loving, helpful and encouraging. She continued to display these qualities during her teaching career that began in 1964 at the Elk Mound High School in Elk Mound, Wisconsin. For thirty-five years she taught Business Education to the "Mounders" as she heard the clickety-clack of the typewriters changing into the quieter sounds of word processors and computers.
It is seldom that one of a teacher's most memorable moments is experienced during inservice. It did, however, happen to Mary. She met Joseph Sekelsky, her future husband, during an inservice meeting. They were married on August 14, 1965, in Rochester, Minnesota. In 1971 they moved from Elk Mound to Colfax because they wanted to live an equal distance from the Equator and the North Pole. Actually, it was because Joe was now teaching in Bloomer. Their family became complete in 1977 with the birth of their daughter Ann Marie.
Unlike her husband whose most adventurous journeys were to North Dakota and Iowa, Mary traveled to a number of countries in Europe as well as visiting Disney World in Florida. Also, she flew to Arizona many times to visit her mother, sister, brother, and other relatives.
Despite her many travels, Mary found her greatest joy in simple pleasures such as walking the trails at Hoffman Hills, eating at various restaurants, attending plays, attending church, and watching mysteries on PBS and the Hallmark Channel. Her greatest pleasure, however, was spending time with Cienna and McKenna, her granddaughters.
Because she was a generous and caring person, Mary was active in various religious, educational, and social organizations. As the CCD coordinator for New Hope Catholic Community Church in Colfax, she developed a program for training new altar servers. After the Colfax church closed, she became a member of St. Joseph Parish in Menomonie. Mary also served as the treasurer for the Wisconsin Retired Educators' Association of Dunn County. She especially enjoyed being involved in supporting various charities through this organization. For a time she also helped with Meals on Wheels. Her favorite activity, however, was buying prizes and calling Bingo at the Grapevine. It was unfortunate that she had to give up this activity because of her health.
Mary is survived by her husband of fifty-five years; her daughter, Ann (Robert) Teuteberg; her granddaughters, Cienna Jo Teuteberg and McKenna Bonnie Teuteberg; sister, Sylvia (Richard) Phillips; brothers, Dr. Roger (Ellen) Martig and Paul (Sandi) Martig; sister-in-law, Kathleen (Patrick) O'Brien; nephews, Tim (Randi) Martig and Chad Martig; niece, Shannon (Matt Graham) O'Brien; great-niece, Macy Martig; and great-nephews, Connor O'Brien-Renz and Duncan O'Brien-Renz.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents and her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Andrew Sekelsky and Amelia (Marolla) Sekelsky.
Mary's family thanks everyone who helped her in some way. Special thanks to Mary Packer who lifted Mary's spirits by coming to her house to do her nails each week, and Nataya Gunderson who thought about Mary as a sister.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, June 5, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at Sampson Funeral Home, 1017 E. Railroad Ave., Colfax, WI. Burial will be at a later date. Online condolences can be left at www.sampsonfuneralhome.com.
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