Mary was born in Cody on Nov. 29, 1917 to Jens Peter and Jacobine Martinsen Jensen. She attended grade school on Monument Hill and high school in Cody where she graduated salutatorian. She married Senius Nielsen on June 13, 1937 in the yard of the house that eventually became their home. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in that same yard.
Mary was an operator for the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph. After a long bout with polio, she dedicated herself to public service. She was a lifetime member of The First Presbyterian Church. Mary was a charter member of Soroptimist (receiving A Woman of Distinction Award in 1987), 4-H leader, Sunday school teacher, and was active in Farm Bureau, community clubs and the Historical Society.
Mary was instrumental in starting the Park County Archives and served as president of both local and state historical societies. Mary and her sister Martha Kinkade owned and operated the Iron Kettle (a yarn and needlework shop) for 13 years.
Mary was an avid historian and genealogist. She authored an early day history of the “Monument Hill Community” which is now being published.
Mary is survived by her son Martin (Cynthia) Nielsen of Cody; daughters Karen (Woody) Shore and Karma (Myron) Wakkuri, both of Wheatland; grandchildren Chris Nielsen and Marette Riley of Cody, Tobin (Nancy) Shore of Cheyenne, Kip (Mary) Shore of Ft. Collins, Colo., Mary Nikole (Rod) Rogers of Laramie, Connie (Jim) English of Torrington, Mike (Carrie-Lynn) Wakkuri of Wheatland; 17 great-grandchildren: Brianna, Cody and Courtney Shore, Connor, Jack and Grace Shore, Carter Nielsen, Tristan, Tanner Nikole, Trenton Rogers, Kyle, Kriste and Katherine Riley, Anthony and Trace English, Matthew and Tayen Wakkuri; one great-great-granddaughter Taylor Lynn Weigel; sister Martha Kinkade; sister-in-law Betty Jensen; cousin Vernon Jensen; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Senius; brothers Clarence and John Jensen; and sisters Elsie Jensen and Ellen Waggoner.
Memorial donations can be made to the Park County Archives, 1501 Stampede Ave., Unit 9001, Cody, WY 82414 or Spirit Mountain Hospice House, 808 Canyon View Ave., Cody, WY 82414, in memory of Mary which would be greatly appreciated by her family.
Ballard Funeral Home in Cody was in charge of arrangements. Mary’s funeral was on Friday, Nov. 30 at First Presbyterian Church of Cody. An online guestbook is available at www.ballardfh.com.