Mary Ellen, age 77, went to be with her Lord and Savior on May 4, 2023. Her greatest passion was her family. She loved her family with her whole heart and loved them unconditionally. Mary Ellen is survived by her husband of 58 years, William A. Bethel (Bill) of Adamstown, MD, her son William M. Bethel (Shirley), of Ijamsville, her daughter, Bronica Nice (John) of Davidsonville, MD and her daughter, Tammy Taft (Gary) of Mechanicsville, MD. She is also survived by her 6 grandchildren: Michael, Candice, Courtney, Krysta (Ty), Abigail and Daniel, as well as her great granddaughter Blakeleigh, her niece Koreen Knudsen and nephew David Leonhard (Jessica).
Mary is preceded in death by her parents David and Rosebud (Boggs) Leonhard, brother David Leonhard, and sister Susan (Leonhard) Knudsen.
Mary Ellen was born on May 5, 1945 in Washington, D.C. to parents David and Rosebud. She graduated from Central High School in Capitol Heights, MD in 1963. After taking a few college classes, Mary accepted a position at the FBI as a Fingerprint Specialist. She worked there until she and Bill started a family, at which time, she stayed home to raise their children. When ready, Mary Ellen returned to work at the FBI, where she eventually retired in 2008 as a Background Investigations Specialist. Throughout her career, she received a multitude of awards for her exceptional work. She loved her job and made several life long friends.
Mary was a devout christian who served the Lord starting at a young age at Maryland Avenue Baptist Church, where she accepted the Lord as her Savior. She continued her worship at First Baptist Church of Capitol Heights, and First Baptist Church of New Carrollton/ United Baptist Church. Once she and Bill moved to Adamstown in 1999, they served the Lord at South End Baptist Church, where they grew to love their church family. Mary loved the time she spent serving the community, teaching Sunday school, working in the nursery, attending Bible study, as well as all of the fellowship with her brothers and sisters in Christ.
Mary Ellen and Bill married on June 27, 1964. They raised their 3 children in Lanham, MD, where they lived for 30 years. You could always count on Mary as your walking partner. She loved walking and socializing with friends. Dancing was one of her favorites too. She even bowled in a league for a few years. Mary loved the beach. She would stay on the beach all day, enjoying the sun and taking walks. Her other favorite place was, Suburban Aquatic Club. She and the family spent every summer at the pool making memories and making lifelong friends. After she retired, she made it her job to shop. If you are someone who went shopping with her, you know exactly what I am talking about. She was hard to keep up with. She loved to shop for everything and everyone. Mary was always thinking of others and wanted to make them smile.
Mary was active in her children's lives. She attended all of their sports games, swim meets, cheer competitions, band concerts, school events and was always available to listen, for a hug, shoulder to cry on, and of course, a walk. When her grandchildren were born, she spent every chance she could with them. She and Bill traveled to their football games, softball and baseball games, cheer competitions, swim meets, school plays, gymnastic meets, concerts, etc…She never missed a Grandparents Day or a visit or phone call on any of the kids birthdays. Mary Ellen (Mimi) had a special relationship with all 6 of her grandchildren and all 3 of her children. She was so special to us all and she always made everyone she was with feel special. She will always hold a special place in our hearts.
The family asks that donations be made in memory of Mary Bethel, to the Alzheimer's Association.
Thursday, May 11, 2023
Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)
Cedar Hill Cemetery