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Mary Elinor Tech

Mary Elinor Tech

Mary Elinor Tech


- July 17, 2020

Mary was born in Sturgis to Harry and Elizabeth (Johnson) Blair.  She grew up on the Blair Ranch in Pleasant Valley.  Her grade school years were in a one-room school house a half mile from the ranch.  She graduated from Sturgis High School in 1945.  She earned a BA in Education from Black Hills Teacher College in Spearfish.

     Mary was an elementary school teacher for nine years in South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arizona.  She was passionate about teaching and she treasured her students.  Many lifelong friendships were made during her teaching years.

     During the summer of 1957, Mary met Don Tech, the love of her life.  Together they raised four children in Sturgis.  Don and Mary started Bear Butte Implement in 1960, and Key City Auto Supply in 1963.  Upon their retirement, they wintered in Lake Havasu City, AZ, from 1999-2007.

     Mary was active in Zonta, the Pleasant Valley Ladies Club, and she served as a 4-H leader for the Tilford Spruce-Ups.  Mary was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Sturgis where she gave much of her time in service and was a charter member of the Ladies Aid.  She enjoyed activities such as Volksmarches, bird watching, reading, and hiking.  Mary journaled about her daily life including the weather, visits from family and friends, and the wildlife she saw.

     One of Mary’s greatest joys was being a grandmother.  She cherished every moment she spent with her grandchildren.  She gifted her love of family to every generation she touched.

     Traveling the Southwest and exploring national parks was something Mary loved.  She had an adventurous spirit which included balloon rides, parasailing, and attempts at water skiing.  At the age of 65 she hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with her siblings and their children.

     Mary always remembered her loved ones’ birthdays and special occasions.  You could always count on receiving a thoughtful card and best wishes.  She was the embodiment of kindness and grace.  Mom never said a negative word or had an unkind thought about anyone.  The worst thing us kids ever heard her say was “I’m so mad, I could just spit!”  Mary never met a chocolate she didn’t like.

     God, in his grace, called Mary home peacefully and unexpectedly on July 14, 2020.  Even though her physical presence is gone, her love remains.

     Mary is survived by her husband, Don; daughters, Anita (Dan) Marler and Judy Tech (Roger Bohnhoff); sons, Bob (Deb) Tech and Dale (Shelley) Tech; grandchildren, Amy (Steve) Berke, Julie (Bryan) Kallenberger, and Grayson Tech; great-grandson, Caleb (Bailey) Marler; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

     She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Elizabeth Blair; her sister, Evelyn Brown; her brother, George Blair; and her newborn son, James.

     We are incredibly blessed to have had Mary as our wife, mom, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.  She will be deeply missed and never forgotten.

     Private family services will be on Monday, July 20, 2020, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sturgis, SD, with Pastor Ken Reschke officiating. Services will be live streamed on the Kinkade Funeral Chapel Facebook page for the public to watch.

     Private family committal services will be at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

     In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established.

     Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.



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