Mary A. Squires, 97, of Longview, Wash., died peacefully Jan. 15, 2022, in her home at the Delaware Plaza.
She was born June 2, 1924, in Heppner, Ore., the daughter of Walter E. Moore and Georgia M. Loughney Moore. Mary attended St. Joseph Academy in Pendleton, Ore., from grade school through high school, after which she was hired by and went to work for the editor of the East Oregonian newspaper. At this time, this was considered a plum job, and one she enjoyed for several years before going to work for Gilbert Struve Insurance as his secretary.
She was very active in the Catholic Daughters of America, the Pendleton Jaycee-ettes, and was a member of St. Mary’s choir (which she later directed). She and her sisters performed for the WWII troops that came through Pendleton, enjoyed dancing with them and playing piano and singing on and off stage as well as hosting them at her parents home.
Music was bred into Mary and her sisters by their mother. All learned the piano, all learned to sing and harmonize with one another. Mary became particularly interested in choral directing, and following high school, earned a four year music scholarship to Marylhurst University in Portland, Ore. Though she forfeited the scholarship for work, she nonetheless made music an important part of her life, forming and/or directing choirs in Pendleton, Halfway, Ore., and Ellensburg, Wash. Her choral version of the Alleluia from "Handel's Messiah" is still one of the most beautiful and memorable versions her daughter heard.
In 1950, she married Francis D. “Fritz” Squires, of Wisconsin. She met him at a dance, and their first date was to have been drinks, dinner and dancing, all of which she enjoyed. However, he preempted that date with one earlier, to go to the dump to shoot rats. She never admitted to enjoying that date, but from then on the rest was history.
Mary and Fritz lived in Pendleton, where their two kids, Monica and Alan were born. It was in Pendleton that Mary learned to be an avid and excellent bridge player. Bridge became a lifelong passion of Mary’s. She played the game for over 70 years, and taught countless women the game wherever she lived. Though the love of the game for her was exciting, more importantly, over the years and places, she made many of her dearest and closest friends at the bridge tables. Many of these friendships would become the basis of hers and Fritz’s fun and vibrant circle of friends wherever they lived.
During the years following their marriage, Mary and Fritz enjoyed many fun, wonderful friendships they made through their churches, bridge clubs, and golf. They both loved music, singing, picnics, and cocktails parties, dinners, dancing and bridge at various clubs or homes with their friends and families. Both were known to be excellent at the jitterbug. In their laughter, singing and outgoing ways, they most certainly brought the party with them.
In 1959, the family moved to the wilds of the Snake River on the Oregon and Idaho border, to Brownlee and Oxbow Dam projects. Mary was a homemaker and Fritz was the construction electrical superintendent on the Oxbow project. In 1962, with the Brownlee and Oxbow dams’ completion, the family moved to Ellensburg, Wash., where Fritz was employed as a construction electrician on the Wanapum Dam project on the Columbia River. In 1965, the family moved to Longview as Fritz went to work as a construction electrician at the Crown Zellerbach paper mill in Wuana, Ore. They lived in Longview for the remainder of their lives.
In Longview, Mary became an active member of the Legion of Mary at St. Rose Catholic Church, as well as a member of St. Patrick’s circle. She sold Fuller Brush products for several years. After her kids were grown and gone, she and Fritz traveled many times to Wisconsin to see his family, and to Montana to see friends. They enjoyed several bus trips to Reno with friends, singing all the way. They traveled to California and once enjoyed the elegance of a cruise.
Mary enjoyed the advantages of being a lifelong homemaker, becoming an excellent cook and baker, making jams/jellies, knitting, crocheting (all the products of which she readily gave away), reading extensively, playing her Wurlitzer organ and listening to a wide variety of music, all types of which she loved.
In her later years, Mary began swimming at the YMCA where she met yet another stellar group of lifelong friends who, along with the Elks bridge friends, would see her through the passing of her beloved Fritz and on. Mary considered herself one of the luckiest people in the world for all the wonderful, happy and giving friends she met along the way - they were the true blessings of her long and happy life.
Mary was known for her wonderful sense of humor (‘sick’, as she described it), her many kindnesses, her giving way, her unshakeable faith and grace. She was, as some might describe her, an uncommonly joyful woman, and her joy was an enveloping light surrounding all in her path. She will be missed.
Mary is survived by a sister, Marguerite E. Moore of Portland, Ore.; her daughter, Monica M. Squires of South Bend, Wash.; her son and daughter-in-law, Alan F. and Valaree Squires of Longview; a granddaughter, Lauren M. Squires of Seattle, Wash.; and her beloved nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a sister, Patricia (Joe) Standerfer,formerly of Pendleton, Ore.; and a brother, Larry (Rosemary) Moore, formerly of Salem, Ore.
Remembrance donations may be made to the St. Vincent dePaul Society, 1222 Baltimore St., Longview, WA 98632.
Please feel free to upload photos of Mom or add a note to this memorial site. The family is grateful to the entire staff at Delaware Plaza for the love and care shown Mary throughout her four-year stay. These folks were Mom’s final set of wonderful, giving, fun and loving friends. In addition, we would specifically like to thank Mom’s hairdresser, Lisa Wolf with HotLocks Hair Salon. She went way beyond duty in her gifts of coffee, transport, love and heartfelt care of Mom and for that we owe her our deepest gratitude.
Mary will be laid to rest with her beloved husband Fritz at Longview Memorial Park.