Cover photo for Mary Joyce (Bocchi)  McAfee's Obituary
1954 Mary 2023

Mary Joyce (Bocchi) McAfee

June 21, 1954 — June 22, 2023

On Thursday, June 22, 2023, Mary Joyce McAfee (Bocchi) peacefully passed away a day after celebrating her 69th birthday. Mary was born in Virginia, Minnesota in 1954 on the summer solstice. It is only fitting that Mary, a woman who openly shared her light and love with others, was born on the longest day of the year. A treasure to her parents Anteo and Betty Bocchi, Mary became ever known as Tini by her family after her mother endearingly referred to her as "my teeny, tiny baby." Growing up in the Bocchi household, she always had someone to play with and loved going on family picnics to the lakes and beaches around Minnesota.

Eventually Mary moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1982. She knew she had found home after witnessing the beauty of the city from the Sandia Crest. In Albuquerque, Mary continued her path as an educator for over 30 years. She was a gifted educator who was fiercely passionate about making a difference in a child's life. She was a champion who stuck with them through their struggles and triumphs and did not give up on them. As a teacher and later as an administrator, she strived to create a school environment that was positive, cohesive, and uplifting, not only for students but also teachers, staff, and families. This led to her being recognized as a Milken Award Educator in 1998 and getting to finally purchase her dream vehicle, a convertible.

One who relished being challenged, Mary was a crossword enthusiast and a word game aficionado, who even tried out for Wheel of Fortune once. She enjoyed playing Trivial Pursuit and Catch Phrase with friends. Mary also loved being outside, especially in her garden, a place she had shaped into her oasis. An avid gardener, Mary found solace and pleasure in the hard work and beauty that gardening provided. Mary enjoyed gardening so much, she even volunteered to help family and friends design and create their own landscapes and havens.

Mary was also passionate about friends, family, and cooking. One of her true joys in life was bringing people together, and there wasn't a better way in her opinion than with food. If you were ever invited to Mary's house for a meal, you knew you were in for a treat and would not leave hungry. She enjoyed hosting parties for her staff to complete the yearbook and celebrate the end of the year as well as dinners for friends on the weekends, Christmas Eve, and every Tuesday night for her group of girlfriends.

In 1985, Mary received her greatest gift and reason for living, Emily. After being told she would never have children, her daughter was truly a miracle. They were inseparable and formed a very special bond and friendship over her lifetime. Throughout Emily's life, Mary was a constant support and cheerleader through school, dance, choir, basketball, and adulthood. It didn't matter how big the adventure (a Christmas cruise to the Bahamas) or how small (Taco Bell and a dollar movie for Mother's Day), they cherished each moment together. Every summer the dynamic duo would make the two day drive to Minnesota to visit and spend time with family. To some these journeys might have seem tedious, but to Mary and Emily, these were prized uninterrupted times together. They enjoyed playing their mixed tapes, telling stories, eating licorice, drinking Coca Cola, and witnessing the beauty of the country together. As one of their many favorite songs said, "Nobody else but you! We've turned into, a true blue duo! Hard times, we've had a few... But when I start to sink, Hey I'd rather go down... With nobody else, but Y-O-U."

If there was anything more that Mary loved than being a mother, it was being a Nonna. She treasured her granddaughters and joyfully took on the duty of caring for them and being a part of their life. They could do no wrong in her eyes and she was only too eager to spend time and spoil them as much as possible. She even rose to the challenge of schooling her oldest granddaughter in kindergarten at home during the pandemic. To Lily and Juliette, Nonna was the master baker of banana bread and donuts and brought Bluey to life. Mary's love for her granddaughters knew no bounds as she assured them everyday that she loved them to the moon and back.

Mary is survived by her daughter Emily Brewer and her husband Matt; and her granddaughters Lily and Juliette. She is also survived by her siblings Carol (Ed) Yoder, Tom (Carol) Bocchi, Curt (Colleen) Bocchi, Patty (Jeff) Tuma, David (Shelly) Bocchi, Jim (Annette) Bocchi, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Anteo and Betty Bocchi.

There will be a Memorial Service for Mary Friday, August 25, 2023 at 4:30 p.m. at FRENCH-Wyoming.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Joyce (Bocchi) McAfee, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Celebration

Friday, August 25, 2023

Starts at 4:30 pm (Mountain time)

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