Mary Cecilia Bollinger Ellsworth Mason passed away peacefully at her home in Murrieta, Calif. on Dec.1 at age 91 of complications from a fall. Mary Bollinger was born in Fort Scott, Kan., Oct. 15, 1917 to Lee Liborius Bollinger and Mary Anne Stephenson who farmed outside of town.
Mary graduated from Fort Scott High School, worked at the Standard Advertising Company, then married Leon W. Ellsworth and gave birth to three children, Elizabeth, Rosemary, and Larry. After Leon's death, she and her children left Fort Scott in 1953 when she married Chet Mason and moved to Long Beach, Calif. There Mary gave birth to two sons, Chester and George, and was an active member of Holy Innocent's Catholic parish. In 1974 Mr. Mason bought a large tract of land in the Murrieta area and the family relocated to Murrieta and later to Escondido.
Mary was a meticulous homemaker, noted for her excellent cooking. She enjoyed gardening, creating and nurturing abundant orchards and plants; roses were always a favorite. She and Chet often traveled in their airplane back to Kansas where they kept cattle, and to Mexico where they vacationed. After being widowed in 1990, Mary continued through her nephew Jim Holden to oversee the operations of the company founded by Mr. Mason -- Duct-o-Wire -- with its main office in Milwaukee, Wisc. and a second location in Corona, Calif. She was wholeheartedly involved in the welfare of her family and was an active member and supporter of various Catholic churches in the area, most recently St. Mary's of Escondido.
Mary is survived by her sister, Clara Holden of Murrieta, and her five children: Elizabeth Ellsworth, Larry Ellsworth, Rosemary Glass, Chester Mason and George Mason. She leaves 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren and will be mourned by many people including her large extended family, as she was extremely supportive of her sister and her sister's children as well as her own. Mary lived life as a positive role model to all, emphasizing family values and the 'golden rule.' She showed compassion and forgiveness toward all, touching many lives with her strength of spirit and her generosity. She will be sorely missed now that she has joined her loved ones who have gone before.
A rosary service was held at 5 p.m., Sunday evening, Dec. 7 at England Family Mortuary in Temecula. The funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Escondido, Monday, Dec. 8, at 1 p.m.
Mary was buried next to her late husband, Chet Mason, at Eternal Hills Cemetery in Oceanside with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Catholic Relief Services (www.crs.org), one of the many charities Mary so generously supported.
Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same, but as The Almighty calls us one by one, the chain will link again.