MARY ELIZABETH (MARY LIZ) WIDHALM LEHNERZ
Mary Elizabeth (Mary Liz) Widhalm Lehnerz departed this life on April 14, 2023 after enjoying a blessed life with her family and friends.
Mary Liz was born in Monroe City, Mo. on Oct. 25, 1920 to William and Clara Timmons. She started grade school in Missouri. The Timmons family moved to Eastern Colorado in 1928 due to her mother’s diagnosis of tuberculosis. Mary Liz completed grade school in a two-room school house called Long Branch southeast of Hugo.
The Timmons family lived in various houses in the country prior to moving into Hugo so Mary Liz and Bill could attend high school. While attending Hugo High School, Mary Liz sewed all of her own clothing, focused on learning clerical skills and loved to dance. She often spoke about the fun they had at dances and said dancing kept her young. Mary Liz graduated from Hugo High School in a class of 26 members in 1939. Her 80th class reunion was celebrated in 2019 - Mary Liz was the only surviving member of her class.
After graduation, Mary Liz began working at the Lincoln County Courthouse. In 1947 she was the Deputy County Clerk and sold her own marriage license. Mary Liz’s last job was with Social Services working as the secretary until her retirement in 1985. While working for Social Services she and her husband, Fritz, would give sanctuary to foster children in emergency situations. One Christmas someone anonymously donated a box of used dolls for needy girls, so Mary Liz took them home and made red flannel nightgowns for each doll. Her kind and loving spirit was evident in everything she did.
On April 19, 1947, Mary Liz married Wilfred Theodore (Fritz) Widhalm and moved to his farm south of Hugo. They adopted two children, Rhonda in 1958 and Perry in 1961. Mary Liz and Fritz were devoted parents who provided a loving and nurturing home for their children. Rhonda and Perry have many fond memories of growing up on the family farm and ranch, including ice skating parties on the creek, large family barbecues and card parties at home. Harvest time was always a busy and joyous occasion as well. Mary Liz would take hot meals to the field for the harvest crew and help wherever needed.
Fritz passed away suddenly on December 12, 1979. For several years thereafter, Mary Liz’s brother, Bill, her brother-in-law, Augie, and her son-in-law, Jim, helped Perry become established as the farm and ranch manager.
Mary Liz married Theodore (Ted) Lehnerz on Sept. 3, 1994. They lived in Denver and Hugo part-time while enjoying many dances and bus trips around the United States. Mary Liz and Ted enjoyed a Mediterranean Cruise in 2004, but said the most fun they had was dancing one day going to three different dances.
After Ted passed away in December 2006, Mary Liz moved back to Hugo permanently to help care for her local grandchildren. In 2014, Mary Liz moved in with Rhonda and Jim. She loved being in the country again and kept them in cinnamon rolls and her famous lemon meringue pies for years. She read a great deal and loved when the grandchildren and great-grandchildren came home to visit which was often.
Mary Liz was devoted to her family and her love showed through all she did for them. Her family dinners were delicious with homemade bread, desserts and vegetables and fruit from the garden. She always made each birthday and holiday special with parties, decorations and fun for everyone attending. She doted on her grandchildren Tara, Ashley, Ty, Tyler, and Cyrus and had a special place in her heart for her great grandchildren - Christian and McKenzie and was eagerly awaiting the birth of two more great grandchildren this fall. Christian and McKenzie called her G.G. and were in awe of her age, ability to always have candy hidden, and the love she bestowed on them.
Mary Liz was preceded in death by her parents; William and Clara Timmons, first husband Fritz Widhalm, daughter-in-law Melissa Brewer Widhalm, brother Bill and her sister-in-law Harriet Timmons, and her second husband Ted Lehnerz. She is survived by her children, Rhonda Covington and her son-in-law Jim of Hugo, Colo.; Perry Widhalm and her daughter-in-law Beth of Laramie, Wyo.; grandchildren - Tara Nichols and her husband Matt of Moyock, N.C.; Ashley Covington of Johnstown, Colo.; Ty Widhalm and his wife Sandy of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii; Tyler Branson and his wife Danielle of Clearwater, Fla.; Cyrus Widhalm of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii; her great grandchildren, Christian and McKenzie Nichols and many other relatives near and far.
She will always be in our hearts and prayers. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Hugo Ambulance Service or St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Hugo, Colo.
Services were at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Hugo and Interment at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Hugo, Colo.
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