Obituary: Mary Avgares
July 27, 1931 – January 24, 2022
Caring and compassionate, Mary Jean was a kind and loving daughter, mother, sister, aunt, friend and career-long nurse who gave selflessly to all those whom she cared for. Mary Jean was born in Craig, Colorado on July 27, 1931. She was born to Louis and Lottie (Reust) Visintainer. Mary was the second of four surviving children and the oldest daughter. Everyone in the Visintainer family helped on the sheep ranch. Mary’s contributions included delivering supplies to the ranch, cooking for the crew, sheering, and of course docking lambs. Growing up in Moffat County, Mary attended school in Craig. As she grew up, Mary studied piano and clarinet. Mary performed in numerous piano recitals and competitions. Additional activities included the high school tumbling team. There was a group of Craig “girls” with a middle name of Jean who were Mary’s friends, including: Norma Jean, Olive Jean, Barbara Jean, and Willa Jean. These ladies maintained life-long friendships and would periodically meet up at the local restaurants for breakfast or lunch. After graduation from Moffat County High School in 1949, Mary attended St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, affiliated with the University of Denver. During the three-year program, Mary lived at the hospital. In 1952, Mary received her Registered Nurse (RN) certification and commenced her extended nursing career. In 1957, Mary joined the United States Navy. She was stationed at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia and then transferred to New York City. After her discharge from the Navy, Mary permanently returned to the West. During the Cold War, Mary was employed by General Dynamics in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She served as a nurse supporting the national defense missile silos. Mary returned to Craig to work on the family ranch. There she met and then later married Gus Avgares in 1963. They had two sons, Nick and George, who were raised primarily in Craig. Mary then returned to her nursing career and worked at the Memorial Regional Health Hospital until she retired. She spent her later years in a loving and committed relationship to Doc Monahan, who pre-deceased her, and had treasured relationships with his daughters Cass and Shannon and granddaughters’ Emily and Anna. Throughout Mary’s 90-year life and extended nursing career, she gave, mentored, assisted, cared for, nurtured, birthed, and touched generations of Moffat County residents. She made a difference in so many lives and left people in better shape and spirit than when she arrived. All of the people Mary helped have the highest regard and respect for her—Mary was a true hero. Mary is survived by her sons Nick, George, and Bill (Carla), plus grandsons Danny and Joey. She is also survived by her two younger sisters Rosalie and Carmen. Preceding Mary in death were her parents Louis, Lottie and her older brother Dean.
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