April 22, 1925 ~ February 19, 2010
Bechtol, Mary Ellen
Born in the tiny coal mining town of Pringle, Pennsylvania on April 22, 1925, Mary Ellen passed away peacefully at her San Pedro home on February 19, 2010. She moved to Los Angeles after WWII and worked for Pacific Bell as a telephone switchboard operator. She met her husband of sixty years, Gil, at a big-band dance in Santa Monica. They moved to San Pedro in 1961. Mary Ellen loved the sunshine, the ocean breezes, and the views of Catalina Island. After her seven children were grown, she especially enjoyed her long, early morning walks through San Pedro to morning Mass. She made a habit of picking up loose change she found on her walks, which she saved to donate to the poor through the Sisters of Charity. Mary Ellen is survived by her husband, Gilbert Bechtol, her children Nancy Andrews (Dean) of San Pedro, Helen Jensen (Kim) of El Paso, TX, Jean Brooks (Greg) of Truckee, CA, Karen Rich (George) of Charlottesville, VA, Marian Stavros (Tony) of San Pedro, and John Bechtol (Marta) of Middleton, Wisc, and by her seventeen grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Chuck Bechtol. Mary Ellen especially loved conversation and laughter with all of her family. To all of those who knew her, she prayed at some moment for each of you. Her family especially thanks Dr. Phyllis Monroe and Vitas Hospice Care for their support in caring for Mary Ellen. A vigil service will be held at 7:00 p.m., Friday, February 26th, at Rice Mortuary in Torrance. Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 27th, at Holy Trinity Church in San Pedro. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Sisters of Charity, 28600 Palos Verdes Dr East, Rancho Palos Verdes CA 90275, or to Vitas Foundation, 990 W 190th St #120, Torrance CA 90502.
"A mother holds her children's hands for a while, their hearts, forever"
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