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Born in Purley, England. Served in the Royal Air Force during World War II. Developed a lifelong interest in Polish culture and language. After the war, Mary was an English teacher to Polish military personnel who were exiled in England. She married one of her students, Leszek, who passed away in 2006. They were married 58 years. In 1948 Mary and Leszek moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Twelve years later they moved to Miami, Fla. For several decades Mary and Leszek were active members of their local Polish clubs. Both also became private pilots and completed two round trips across the United States. Mary had a bright outlook on life, was an enthusiastic competitor in card and board games, and was a good cook. Until her early 80s, when her health no longer allowed it, she always had a busy social life.
Mary actively supported several environmental and animal rights organizations.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Stephanie and Mike Sheltz of Bishop; grandson, Matthew Sheltz and Rebecca Picker of Santa Cruz; great-grandsons, Theo, Tommy and Zeke; and several extended family members in Great Britain.