Mary Wells

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MTT News's picture

He who binds to himself a Joy Doth the winged life destroy;

But he who kisses the Joy as it flies Lives in Eternity's sunrise.

MIDDLETON–After a lifetime of adventures, varied careers, travel, hobbies, and lots of laughter, Mary Wells, age 69, died of complications due to the cancer she'd lived with for more than 15 years on Feb. 11, 2020.

Mary loved music, reading, riding her bicycle, sewing and writing. She delighted in the "gobble and gab" lunches with friends Jean Kringle and Rena Askey, occasions she said were too infrequent but always marvelously invigorating. Though her last years were less dramatic than those that went before, she was never lacking in activities, including, at the age of 66, deciding to study Greek.

Even when the cancer became too aggressive to contain, Mary lived by the words of author Tom Robbins, who wrote he believed living can be a challenge and should be faced with "joy in spite of everything." She often said "joy" was her favorite word in the English language and her life reflected that sentiment. She delighted in a good joke and sought humor in the everyday situations of life.

Over the years Mary was a licensed real estate agent, a bookkeeper, a researcher for fundraising at the University of Washington, a newspaper reporter and editor, an eBay entrepreneur, licensed used car dealer, purse designer and creator, and a Photoshop artist. She used to joke that half her jobs frequently appear on the list of "least trusted professions."

For the last decade Mary had a great passion for creating photo collages. Her work graced many editions of the family calendar and she shared her artistry with family and friends, creating memory collages, original and fanciful birthday cards and intriguing portraits. Mary was a lifelong seamstress but it wasn't until her late 50s that she came into her own as a designer and creator of handbags, making more than 350 one-of-a-kind purses, mostly from clothing she up-cycled into her unique creations.

The year before her death, she began writing a novel that involved the discovery of a manuscript purported to be by Jane Austen. To make it believable, she wrote 60 pages of Austen-style prose, an exercise, she said, that was a great challenge and a rewarding experience.

Mary was born in Stevens Point, the daughter of Helen and Ray Blaskey. She grew up in Antigo, graduating from Antigo High School in 1968. She received a BA in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin in 1972.

She is survived by her brothers, Tom Blaskey of Middleton and Mark Blaskey and his wife, Emily, of Altoona.; her niece, Sarah Blaskey; nephew Dylan Blaskey; her friends of nearly 50 years, Jean and Terry Kringle; as well as other relatives and friends from Wisconsin to Hawaii.

Memorials in Mary’s name may be made to Agrace HospiceCare. Online condolences may be made at

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