Mary Elizabeth Blakely nee’ Swengros, age 93, passed away peacefully at her home, February 5th 2023 amongst family and loved ones. She was born August 19, 1929 in Queens Village, New York to William Thomas Swengros and Mary Sarah Swengros nee’ Tennis.
Mary married the love of her life, William Rush Blakely Jr. (COL USA RET) in Salzburg, Austria. They continued to fall in love for more than 56 years.
Mary was always an active, independent person who still found ways to be deeply involved with her faith and her community. Whether it was being den mother to cub scouts, involved parishioner or Regent of the Catholic Daughters, her humor, grace and patience were always on display.
Mary loved to travel, and did so all her life, living in Austria, Germany and the Philippines, and visiting all of Europe, as well as Africa, Australia, India, and the Far East among many other places. After her children had grown her passion for travel led her to become a travel agent. She truly enjoyed the different cultures and experiences in which she found herself and took joy from seeing so much of God’s creation, but always worked to attend Mass wherever she found herself. Whether in a Cathedral in Spain, the Vatican in Rome or a small church in the Bahamas. Her faith was central to her life.
If there is a bible verse to describe her, it is probably this: Ephesians 4:32 — “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” She was always present for her husband, her daughters, her sons, her community and her faith. Her capacity for forgiveness knew no bounds.
Mary was predeceased by her husband William, her brother Thomas Stephen Swengros and her son-in-law Ronald Ashton Slaughter. She is survived by her children William Rush Blakely III (Alexandra) of Loxahatchee Florida; Mary Barbara Taylor (Rob) of Brunswick County, VA; Patricia Blakely Slaughter of Chester VA.; Thomas Robert Blakely (Lorena) of Rota, Spain. Grandchildren, Matthew Rush Blakely (Miranda) and Lauren Taylor Slaughter and great grandchildren, Adam, Ian and Angelina Blakely. Mary is also survived by her siblings, Claire Campo (Thomas), William Swengros (Janet), Ethel De Monaco, George Swengros (Judy), Charlie Swengros (Janie). Her extended family includes many nieces and nephews.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00a.m. on Friday February 17, 2023, At St. Ann Catholic Church, 17111 Route 1, South Chesterfield, VA 23834, with Father William Swengros and Father Ernest Bulinda as Celebrants. Inurnment will follow at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. In Lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Maryknoll Missionaries or The Disabled American Veterans.