Mary Tenge Witzig
Oct. 3, 1932 – June 3, 2015
Mary Tenge Witzig, 82, passed away on June 3 in Reno, NV, after a brief illness. She was born on October 3, 1932, in St. Louis, MO, to John J. Tenge and Mary Nolan Tenge, and grew up in St. Louis and Clayton, MO. She graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in 1950. After high school she attended Fontbonne College before moving to San Francisco, later settling with her family in Hillsborough, CA.
In 1962, Mary married Richard Alan Witzig and moved with him to Philadelphia to support his studies in medical school. After the couple returned to California in 1965 to set up Dick’s medical practice, Mary focused on their rapidly growing family, creating a home of love, laughter, and fun. With Mary as the chief of hospitality, the Witzig home in Hillsborough was known for its open and lively embrace of people, extending the circle of family through many happy and memorable adventures and occasions. Throughout these years, Mary was a warm and welcome participant in community events, in activities in her children’s schools and at Peninsula Hospital and cared for her aging parents, Mary and John. She was especially instrumental in the care of her father, the ever youthful “Pa,” who lived to the inspirational age of 102. Mary and Dick enjoyed travel throughout Mexico and Europe and lived in locales as diverse as Inverness, CA, Incline Village, NV, and Gardnerville. They celebrated their golden anniversary with their children, grandchildren and great-grandson in July, 2012, before Dick passed away on April 18, 2013. Mary continued to enjoy her adventures with family and friends, especially birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, tea parties and barbecues. She realized one of her fondest dreams in August, 2014, visiting the Holy Land with a group from St. Gall’s Church. It was a profound experience in Mary’s life and gave her strength through the unexpected trials ahead as she faced serious illness. Mary created music wherever she went, singing in the church choir and in her car, picking out tunes from Frank Sinatra on the radio. She embraced beauty in diverse landscapes, from art museums to fashion shows to fields of sunflowers or the beach at sunset. She loved the color yellow and her personality embodied its sunny glow. She loved good books and old movies, Mariachi music and margaritas, the fragrance of gardenias, her grandchildren’s sweet and soft faces, hugs and kisses. She had a weakness for beagles. Bunnies followed her wherever she went. She made friends everywhere, attracting people with her youthfulness and laughter, her warmth and happy generosity. She was a bright spirit. The sun and stars will greet her and mark her path forever. Mary is survived by her daughters Denise Witzig (Dan Bennett) of Oakland, CA, Suzanne Witzig of Las Vegas, NV and sons Mark Witzig (Micki) of Scotts Valley, CA and Dan Witzig of Truckee, CA, her grandchildren Jamie and Rob Witzig, Patrick, Jack, Erik and Maggie Witzig, Nolan and Gracie Bennett, Taylor Nielsen Scully (Brandon), Lacey Price, and great-grandchildren Trey and Bryn Scully. She is also survived by her brother Richard Tenge and sister-in-law Mary Ann Tenge of St. Louis. Mary was preceded in death by her husband Dick, her parents Mary and John Tenge, her brother Jack Tenge, sister Joan Tenge Dyer, and sister Margaret Ann Tenge. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Gall’s Church in Gardnerville, NV, at 11 a.m. on June 27th. Friends wishing to make a memorial donation may contribute to research in juvenile diabetes or cancer. Condolences and favorite stories may be left on Mary’s online guest book at forevermissed.com.