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Mary Magdalene Holtrey

April 4, 2012
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Mary Magdalene Holtrey was born in Van Wert, Ohio, on July 10, 1910. She died on March 23, 2012 to join her husband W.R. "Pete" Holtrey, her father Jesse Potts, mother Cora Matilda Stirn and five sisters, Callie, Beatrice, Dortha, Jennie and Nellie. She lived longer than any of her immediate family, reaching the age of 101. She is survived by two nephews, Ray and Tom Bates; twp nieces, Mary Ellen Tierney, and Carolyn Wiseman.

After finishing school in Van Wert, she was hired by the Van Wert Telephone Company as a switchboard operator. She was employed there until the beginning of World War II. At that time she was offered a similar position with Atlas Powder Company in Newton Falls, Ohio. She worked there until her husband Pete was employed by Flagler to help establish the railroad to Key West, Fla.

Upon moving to Miami, she was hired as a switchboard operator at National Airlines, and worked her way up to be the director of communications, putting her in charge of all of the switchboard operators. While there she and her husband traveled around the world, visiting many countries.

When National Airlines was sold to Pan American, she retired at her husband's request. They sold their home in Coral Gables and moved to Lehigh Acres in 1980.

She was a very active person in Lehigh Acres. She would have parties for friends and family, who all enjoyed her wonderful cooking, her family said. She was a very capable seamstress, making and altering clothes for herself and friends. She was a great dancer and loved going to the Elks Club on Saturday night for dancing. She was a member of TOPS Florida 418 in Lehigh Acres for many years. She was also a member of the American Legion and Elks Club in Van Wert, and the Masonic Eastern Star in Newton Falls.

For the past 30 years, Woody Dulaney was Mary's caregiver and the Dulaney family adopted her as one of their own. The quiet and reserved lady that everyone knew had a very feisty personality in private. She loved nothing more than debating politics and her own personal views. She was dearly known as "Queen Mary."

During the last 18 months of her life, she lived at the Carrington House under the care of Valerie Carrington and Hope Hospice of Lehigh Acres.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday March 28, 2012 at the Hodges-Farley Funeral Home. Interment was at Lee Memorial Park Cemetery next to her husband.



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