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Obituary of Mary Elsa Szeles
Mary passed in the comfort of her home in Santa Cruz, California, surrounded by family at the age of 68. Mary was born the youngest of five siblings in Lima, Peru to parents George Olortegui Rojas and Mary Erazmina Olortegui Martin. She moved to the United States at the age of 3 and grew up in the Miami, Florida area. Mary touched many lives with support, care, and love. She began her path of helping others by becoming a nurse in 1975. A few years after being blessed with becoming a mother, Mary chose to stay home and raise her children. She took great pride in providing a safe, supportive, and loving home for her family. After her children had grown, Mary went back to work as a medical assistant. During these years, Mary also followed a calling to help others with anxiety by leading support groups and later helping others with one on one support. In recent years, Mary has enjoyed the blessings of grandchildren and the adventures of traveling the country with her husband and their dog in their RV. Mary has also taken great pride in her charity and leadership work at the Santa Cruz Elks Lodge for the last five years where she held officer positions as the Inner Guard and the Esteemed Lecturing Knight. Mary will be deeply missed by her family and friends who treasured her as a guiding light, charitable spirit and sage advisor. She always took the time to show and express her devotion to those she loved and those in need. Mary said her greatest pride and accomplishment was her children. Mary is preceded in death by her parents George and Mary and her sister Adela. She is survived by her loving husband, Michael Szeles, children and stepchildren Nikki (Adam) Pendergraft, Cliff Roberts, Theresa Lee, Kristina (Toby) Salciccia, Christopher (Ursula) Szeles, Steven (Melena) Szeles, Matthew (Vivian) Szeles, Kimberly (Michael) Laddy, 16 grandchildren and step grandchildren, her siblings Grace (Kevin) Blacquiere, Ruth (Charles) Pomareda Rogers, George Olortegui, her first husband Robert Smith and second husband Bruce Roberts. A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, March 15, 2020, at the Santa Cruz Elks Lodge, 150 Jewell Street at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Santa Cruz Elks Lodge to help fund a memorial bronze Elk statue in Mary’s name. The Elks office phone is (831)423-8240.
Celebration of Life
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Santa Cruz Elks Lodge
150 Jewell Street
Santa Cruz, California, United States