Mary Elizabeth Cline, known as Mary Beth to her many colleagues and as Buffy to her family, was born October 7, 1957 at St. John McNamara Hospital in Rapid City, SD. She was the youngest of three children of Eugene Cline and Mary (Shiel) Cline. Her father grew up in rural Wyoming and her mother in Glasgow, Scotland, with very different backgrounds, but they both had strong work ethics and dry sense of humor. Mary absorbed their values ââand was known for her persistence wherever she worked. All her life she made people laugh out loud, and she was a one-liner master. She saw the good in everyone and would do anything to help them. People confided in him their deepest secrets because of his warm, tolerant and non-judgmental personality.
Mary attended General Beadle Elementary School and North Junior High School and graduated from Rapid City Central High School in 1975. She studied at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology before earning a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology and a Masters in Consulting from the University of South Dakota. She went on to earn a master’s degree in education and a special education certificate from Adams State University in Colorado. She was very modest in her education and most people had no idea of ââthe extent of her education.
Mary’s early jobs included serving as a waitress in a donut shop, restaurant, and pizzeria. Later jobs included social worker for children with developmental disabilities, assembly line worker, reader for the blind, software support specialist and kitchen manager, but she found her greatest accomplishment. as a special education teacher in a primary school who was able to teach children to read that everyone else had dropped out of. She has also held many positions over the years. Mary made deep friendships wherever she worked because of her warmth and humor.
While working at a Colorado disability center, Mary met the love of her life, John Wilmes, whom she married in 1984. They lived in more than a dozen places in Colorado then. that they were moving to work and study. Mary joined the Catholic Church in 1994, received the sacraments and remarried in the church during the 1994 Easter Vigil. Her deep faith was of great comfort to her for the rest of her life. .
In 1999, their only child, Matt, came to Mary and John’s house. Later that year, they moved to rural San Francisco Bay Area, by the ocean, where they lived for 20 years. There she had her first battle with breast cancer, during which she bravely worked even during chemotherapy.
After Mary retired, she and John moved to Rapid City in 2019 to a neighborhood Mary had always loved a few blocks from her birthplace. Mary makes lots of new friends there and works part time as a personal shopper. As in Colorado, Mary enjoyed traveling the back roads and freeways spontaneously, enjoying each day as it came.
In August 2020, Mary’s cancer metastasized to her brain, but after the treatment, she was surprised with an additional year of life, which she lived to the fullest her illness allowed. She passed away peacefully at home on November 30, 2021.
She is survived by her husband, John; his sister, Jean Cline; her brother, John (Kathy) Cline; and his son, Matt Wilmes.
Donations in memory of Mary can be made to Storybook Island in Rapid City, or to a charity of your choice.
Public visitation took place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 5 at the Catholic Church of the Blessed Sacrament with a rosary recital and vigil service at 6 p.m. The Christian funeral mass was held at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 6 at the church. . Interment followed at 2 p.m. at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Rapid City.
Arrangements are with Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home, 2700 Jackson Boulevard, Rapid City, SD 57702.