Ocean Beach 05

Mary Ellen (McCarthy) Stanton

October 14, 1954 ~ October 12, 2020 (age 65)


Mary Ellen (McCarthy) Stanton, 65, beloved daughter, wife, mom, nana, sister and friend, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Monday, October 12, 2020.  Born October 14, 1954, she is survived by her husband of 45 years, Mike, sons, Bill and his wife Alicia, Eric, Jeff and his wife Kathryn, and two grandchildren, Emily and Matthew.  She is also survived by her mom, Mary Beall, brothers, Michael and his wife Frances, John and wife Suzette, as well as two sisters, Julie and husband Doug Schreiber, and Kathy McCarthy-Gray. She was preceded in death by her father James McCarthy and brother, Jim.

Mary was born in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up with her family in Albuquerque, NM, where she lived for most of her life.  She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor's degree in Education and Master’s in Counseling and taught in many local private and public schools in Albuquerque including Holy Ghost School, Los Lunas High School, McKinley Middle School, and Albuquerque High School. Her specialty was math and science and she was also a school librarian. 

Mary retired one year ago after serving for many years as Director of Almas de Amistad therapeutic community for women.  She fought for and represented numerous underserved women and their children as they worked to establish a healthy and meaningful way of life.  Mary practiced Mindfulness in her personal life and was one of the first to incorporate it into her field in order to help citizens returning from incarceration, the homeless, victims of trauma and abuse, and those suffering from addiction. She established practices and programs that included meditation, yoga, teaching healthy lifestyles, and using the community as a method to recovery. Her life experiences and personal story of overcoming tragedy and trauma became a unique demonstration and a therapeutic tool for coping and living for everyone she worked with.  Mary lived with several diseases and the most challenging medical conditions, especially in these past eighteen years, and yet her passion and efforts to help others became even stronger.  Mary touched thousands of lives as a mentor and teacher in Albuquerque and around the world. She shared her gifts and talents with communities in Tucson and South Central Los Angeles. She presented at world conferences in Spain, Peru, Mexico, and many places in the US.

Most of all, family and friends will miss Mary’s boundless love, beautiful smile, and sparkling green eyes. Her lifelong love story with husband Mike began, of sorts, when they met at age 8 in Albuquerque when both of their mothers became acquainted through their Catholic College alumni newsletter. Mary and Mike’s life together was filled with many wonderful experiences of travel, and enjoying time with extended family back East. They shared the same passion to help others and model a love and marriage that could not just overcome several tragedies and trauma, but be a demonstration of personal strength, hopefulness, and love.

Mary had many accomplishments, but she was always most proud of her three sons and cherished every minute she spent with them and their families and every memory she made with them. This included adventures skiing, rafting, and hiking at the family cabin in Colorado when her sons were young and spanned to later years with wonderful family vacations kayaking in the Atlantic, zip-lining in their vacation home in Virginia, hiking in the Shenandoah and Rocky Mountains, and many family game nights.

Mary found great peace in nature through hiking and the calm serenity of a warm beach. She was a voracious reader and talented athlete as a competitor in triathlons. She excelled at most everything she set her mind to. She especially loved to spend time reading, baking, working on crafts, and playing games with her grandchildren, Emily and Matthew.  As she did with her sons, she also vigorously encouraged her grandchildren and supported their gifts and talents.

Although Mary is no longer with us in this world, she will always be present in our lives.  The impact she has made can be seen in so many lives she has touched including not just her family and friends, but those she did not know who came to her and her community in need.

The following quote reflects the way that Mary lived her life and how she would like to be remembered

At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought but what we built; not what we got but what we shared; not competence but our character; and not our success but our significance.  Live a life that matters.  Live a life of Love.


With these difficult days of the COVID-19 pandemic we will hold a private Rosary and Memorial on Friday, October 16, 2020 starting at 5:30 PM Mountain Time.  Please join us virtually in love for Mary online at https://echo.zoom.us/j/5294429125   

Mary's Funeral Service will be streamed live via YouTube on Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 9:00 AM Mountain Time https://youtu.be/Co6jxmK0vcQ 

Our family plans an In-Person Celebration of Life for Mary next year on her birthday, October 14, 2021, when it is safe again and hope everyone will join!


In lieu of flowers please donate to an organization that honors Mary's life's work, HopeWorks.  Donations can be made online at  https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=E99396&id=36, or you may contact Annam directly via email at http://amanthiram@hopeworksnm.org or phone at 505-242-4399, ext. 238.






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