Mary Elizabeth Pelley was born in Seattle, Wash., on Jan. 8, 1928. After graduating from Holy Names Academy, she joined the US Navy in 1949 as a celestial navigation instructor and served until 1953. She graduated Seattle University with a bachelor’s in education in 1955. On Jan. 2, 1956, she married Gail Joseph Pelley, whom she had known since childhood and was then in the US Air Force in Washington, DC. After moving around the country seven times because of Gail’s Air Force career, they lived in Riverside, Calif.
When Mary retired from her 33-year teaching career in 1988, they began a new chapter in their lives and began living the RV lifestyle full time, traveling around the country for 26 years. They were very active in the Escapees RV organization, eventually making their home at Escapees North Ranch south of Congress.
After one of her neighbors needed blood donations to survive following a surgery, Mary instigated the blood bank drive that is now a regular event at North Ranch. She was also an active member of Good Shepherd of the Desert Catholic Church in Congress.
After two years of battling a broken heart from the passing of her husband, Gail, in August 2017, Mary went home to her Lord and Savior on Aug. 8, 2019.
A Catholic Funeral Mass for both Mary and Gail will be celebrated at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25 at Good Shepherd of the Desert Catholic Church in Congress, officiated by Rev. Camilo de Villa. A rosary will precede the mass at 2 p.m. A pot luck dinner will follow Mass in the North Ranch Club House. Internment will be at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix on Aug. 26.
Arrangements are being handled by David’s Desert Chapel.