Mary Lee Neary Wittie
May 11, 1950 ~ April 14, 2023
Mary Lee Neary Wittie, 72, passed away Friday, April 14th, at Resolute Baptist Hospital in New Braunfels, Texas, surrounded by some of the many people who loved her dearly. Mary Lee was born May 11, 1950, to Colonel Elmer Joseph (Pat) Neary and Mrs. Blanche R. Neary in Petersburg, Virginia as the youngest of three beautiful girls who would grow to be dynamic, accomplished women. Col. Neary’s Army service took him and his family around the world, offering Mary and her siblings the opportunity to travel the United States and Europe, living in Italy, France and Germany, during their formative years. Mary Lee was known in her youth for keeping everyone around her - be it her parents, siblings, educators, or others on the military base they happened to call home at the time - on their toes, a trait she maintained for the rest of her life. Mary Lee graduated from Paris American High School in 1968, then began her undergraduate education at the University of Munich in Germany before heading back to the United States and attending Colorado State University for her final three years of college. While in Fort Collins, Colorado, she majored in sociology and would go on to hold various positions over her professional career. She finished her career with more than a decade in the Comal Independent School District, first at Smithson Valley Middle School before eventually retiring from Mountain Valley Middle School. During her time working as an education paraprofessional, Mary Lee made a point of working with the students often in need of the most encouragement. She was known for pouring her heart into those students, encouraging them to achieve their best. It was a quality Mary Lee maintained after her retirement when she could be seen around her neighborhood watching over the local kids and cheering on her nearby friends in their endeavors. Of all the people Mary Lee loved, no one held a higher place in her heart than her only daughter Samantha Wittie. She could often be seen regaling her acquaintances with tales of Samantha’s latest accomplishments in athletics, academics and, eventually, her professional career. Ever the supportive parent, Mary Lee once joked that she watched countless soccer matches in Samantha’s youth, and “not a minute of it since.” Mary Lee is survived by her beloved daughter Samantha of Washington, D.C.; her dear sister Joanne (Charles) Lavender of Colorado Springs, Colorado; her nieces Jeanine Lavender of Copenhagen, Denmark, Kelly Lavender of Lausanne, Switzerland, and Katie (Meurer) Wong of Saline, Michigan; her nephews Michael (Amy) Meurer of Wyoming, Michigan, and Stephen Meurer Delta Junction, Alaska; cherished cousins and other family spread throughout the country and world; and a long list of treasured friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Col. Elmer Joseph (Pat) Neary and Mrs. Blanche R. Neary as well as her sister Patricia Muerer of Grandville, Michigan and beloved nephew Patrick Lavender of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Mary Lee will be remembered at a Catholic Mass Friday, May 5th at 10:30 a.m. at Saints Peter and Paul in New Braunfels, Texas. In lieu of flowers, please kindly consider donations in Mary Lee’s memory to the Communities in Schools of South Central Texas.