Mary Catherine Stenovec (Ginsburg), devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at the age of 93. Mary was born on Wednesday, December 8, 1926, in Flagstaff, Arizona. Her parents, Michael and Minnie Ginsburg, moved to Denver, Colorado where she and her three older siblings grew up. She had wonderful memories of her childhood, especially roller-skating at the local rink where her father worked evenings as the rink manager. Mary met and fell for the love of her life, John William Stenovec, on a blind date at Elitch Gardens in Denver, and they were married in 1949. John was a career military man and Mary had the task of running the household and raising the children during John’s various deployments and transfers. The family eventually settled in Albuquerque where they raised their four children. Mary and John developed life-long friendships with numerous couples in Albuquerque; they called themselves the “jet-set” and met monthly for potluck dinner parties and celebrations. Sadly, Mary was widowed in 1976 at the age of 49 and faced the challenge of raising a family on her own.
Mary was a woman of strong faith and a life-long member of Holy Ghost Catholic Church where she rarely missed an opportunity to attend mass. She constantly volunteered at the parish including running the school lunch program, and she lovingly prepared casseroles for the homeless for many years. While Mary’s values were steeped in the Catholic faith, she was not dogmatic and her beliefs evolved upon contemporary thinking and common sense. One of her happiest moments was attending mass with her family on her 90th birthday at Holy Ghost where her son, Jerry, an ordained deacon, served as deacon of the mass.
Mary was always current on pop culture and politics and also had a great sense of humor. She recently had an ER visit which necessitated an ambulance ride. When we finally spoke to her on the phone, she only wanted to talk about the cute EMT who helped her along the way. Mary also had amazing skin, up until the very end. When the kids would ask how she did it, she would say that the secret to her youthful looking skin was her daily regimen of “Oil of Old Lady”! Mary’s mind was sharp as a tack up until the very end. She could converse on the phone with family members of various ages about anything from politics to what classes they were taking in school, always remembering personal details. Mary spent the final years of her life in an assisted living home where she thrived on the social aspect, creating numerous new friendships and always joking with the nurses as she strolled down the hallway with her walker.
Mary was predeceased by her husband, John William; as well as her three siblings, Vera, Harry, and Joseph; and her granddaughter-in-law, Jessica. She is survived by her son, Gerald Michael (Debbie) of San Diego; son, John Thomas (Susan) of San Luis Obispo; son, Paul Andrew (Carolyn) of Orinda; and daughter, Joan Boyer (Jeff) of Albuquerque. Mary had eleven grandchildren, Cory, Joseph, Laura, Timothy, Matthew, Michael, Hannah, John, Lucy, Sarah, and Nicholas. She also had seven great-grandchildren, Kaiya, Adelaide, Eleanor, Madelyn, James, Jack, and Arlo. Mary was a deeply religious person with a loving soul, a sense of humor, and great enthusiasm for life. We will all miss her wonderful birthday phone calls which always started out with a heart-felt rendition of the happy birthday song. Her memory will be cherished.
Rosary will be recited Saturday, February 15, 2020, 10:30 a.m., immediately followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m., at Holy Ghost Catholic Parish, 833 Arizona St. SE, Albuquerque. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Holy Ghost Catholic School or a charity of your choice are appreciated.