Mary Loree Ingram Stelzer
August 28, 1924 – February 21, 2018
Creekmore and Florentine Ingram welcomed their first child, Mary, into their Dallas home on August 28, 1924. She was one richly blessed in this life to be part of a large extended family, which besides her parents, included brothers, grandparents, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
Besides the families of her birth and marriage, Mary was blessed to be a part of the larger family of faith at Zion Lutheran Church, Dallas, Texas, where her great-grandparents were charter members. She was baptized by Pastor Robert on October 5, 1924, confirmed on April 10, 1938, and remained an active member for the entire 93 years of her long life. She faithfully participated in various ministries of Zion, including Bible Studies, LWML, and Braille Ministry.
Mary was married at Zion Lutheran Church on a Sunday afternoon, February 28, 1943, to Marvin Stelzer. She was certain this preacher’s son, the one with a big singing voice, was the one for her. The white dress she wore on her wedding day, while lovely, was so simple that she continued to wear it as a regular church dress for several years. Such was the economy required for a war-time bride. Mary was always thankful that Uncle Sam, at least in their case, seemed to be appraised of Deuteronomy 24:5, "When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.” Marvin received his call to duty shortly after their first wedding anniversary. They were separated, by many miles, for nearly two years, and Marvin missed the birth of their first child, Ann. Once reunited, Mary proved to be a faithful and dutiful helper to Marvin throughout their 72 years of marriage.
Mary cheerfully taught Sunday School to first graders at Zion for twenty years, always being mindful to clearly teach the little ones the Good News that Jesus had paid, with his own blood, the debt due for the guilt of their sins. She knew that teaching the cross was essential no matter how young her audience was.
In numerous encounters throughout her life, Mary was a steadfast evangelist. For years she knocked on doors, with other members of Zion, asking the questions, “Do you know for sure that you are going to be with God in Heaven when you die?” and “If God were to ask, ‘Why should I let you into My Heaven?’, what would your answer to Him be?” She loved asking those questions. She felt no embarrassment in sharing her faith. She was always was on the lookout for opportunities to tell others about her Savior.
Proceeding her in death are her husband, Marvin, son, Wesley, and her brother, Paul Ingram. Among those who remain, and are thankful for her life, are her brother, Bob Ingram; three children (Ann Nichols, Stuart Stelzer, and Helen Megibben), sons-in-law (Randy and Artie); daughter-in-law (Deja); grandchildren (Deanna Taylor, Angie Roberts, Ian Megibben, and Alec Megibben); seven great-grandchildren, and two step great-grandchildren.
Mary has been welcomed into the Paradise of her Savior, and her example of a trusting, child-like faith will endure in our memories.
For any wishing to make memorial gifts, the family would be pleased that consideration be given to the STELZER FAMILY ENDOWMENT, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, Missouri. The endowment, which was established by Marvin and treasured by Mary, provides financial support for the instruction and training of pastors and deaconesses for generations to come.