Mary Veronica Willcox
July 10th, 1955 - November 11th, 2023
On November 11, 2023, Mary Veronica Bernadette (Fleming) Willcox, 68 of Idaho Falls, Idaho, passed away at her home following a courageous battle against multiple medical ailments but primarily due to the chronic effects of Lupus.
Mary, the second child of John and Iris Fleming, was born in Augsburg, Germany on July 10, 1955.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother John Fleming and niece Kristi Martinez. She is survived by her children and grandchildren Sarah (Geza) Gedeon, Rachel (Jacob) Hurst, Dan (Sara) Willcox, Theresa Willcox (Ryan Gary), and twelve grandchildren: Jonah, Isaac, Ruben, Elias, Aaron, and Carmel (Rachel and Jacob), Madelyn, Evelyn, Luke, and Lily (Dan and Sara), Oliver and Dahlia (Theresa and Ryan). She is also survived by her siblings Sharon, Joe (Phyllis), Anne, Patricia (Apple), Cathy as well as many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her cat, Sunny, who kept her company during the isolated days of the COVID pandemic as well as the days of her bouts with illness.
Mary graduated high school from Roswell High. She earned an Associates Degree in Science. Afterwards, she worked at New Mexico Military Institute. All of her children were born in Roswell, New Mexico.
At 33 years old, as a single parent to four children, she returned to higher education to earn her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico. Upon graduation, she took a job with the Department of Energy as a Physical Scientist working to ensure the proper cleanup of radioactive material at the Idaho National Lab. She was deeply passionate about her work and retired from the DOE after 26 years of dedicated service. She continued in various consultation roles as a recognized expert in her field for a short time following her retirement. .
Outside of work she would spend time trying new recipes, quilting, gardening, making clothes for grandchildren’s dolls, took up running, took jiu-jitsu lessons, attended retreats; joined book clubs, enjoyed black and white films, bible studies, and mahjong groups; volunteered at Birth Right, St. Vincent de Paul, and a quilting non-profit. She enjoyed watching most sports, camping, traveling, completing puzzles, spending time with her grandchildren, reading, and dancing to a good beat.
There is no doubt Mary’s life would have been different without her 36 years of daily commitment to a 12-step program. Mary’s commitment to living a clean life was an immeasurable blessing to her children and grandchildren and they are eternally grateful for her choice to live clean. Mary held service positions in her 12-step program, took meetings to the women’s correctional facilities, and attended local and national conferences.
In all of this, Mary deeply loved God and her Catholic faith. She was a parishioner of Holy Rosary Parish (St. John Paul II Catholic Community) for over 30 years. She especially prayed for those who had passed and had expressed an openness for prayers for her.
A Rosary Vigil Service will be held at 6 pm, Thursday, November 30, 2023, with a visitation and viewing to follow, at Buck-Murphy Funeral Home, 825 E. 17th Street, Idaho Falls. A Requiem Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, December 1, 2023 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 905 S. Lee, Idaho Falls. She will be laid to rest at the New Sweden Cemetery in Idaho Falls, ID.
Mary was a source of inspiration to us all and her acts of service will be deeply missed by everyone whose lives she touched. Mother, you will always be in our hearts and we will never forget you. We love you so much. Rest in peace.