It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Mary Dart Sipes on Aug. 25, 2011.
Mary was born Oct. 17, 1932 in Salt Lake City and grew up in Price. She graduated nursing school at Holy Cross Hospital School of Nursing in Salt Lake City in 1954. She moved to San Diego, Calif., where she met the love of her life Bill, at age 24. They were married a year later.
Mary was known for her immense love of family, her strong faith and her tireless work in the community. She taught Catholic religious education for decades, volunteered endless hours with Right to Life, was a Eucharistic Minister, served on the Santa Clarita Valley Scholarship Foundation for 20 years, volunteered with hospice, helped at a homeless shelter, worked as an election site volunteer, and was active in PTA.
Mary was famous for running the "Sipes Hotel" where everyone felt warm and accepted.
No one was ever a stranger. She made everyone feel welcome; tirelessly cooking, entertaining and making sure everyone got to see the sights, from Disneyland to Solvang to the Grand Canyon and many other places in between. She also made family reunions a top priority by organizing and keeping her vast extended family connected.
She leaves behind her husband of 53 years, William James Sipes, her children: Anne (Richard) Haro Sipes, Sharon (Robert) Van Belleghem, Thomas (Kassi) Sipes, Diane (Tom) Sipes-Cwik, David (Anne) Sipes, Carmen (Donald) Holloway and Teresa (Jack) Barnhill. Her children include many exchange students, one of whom said, "The love Mom and Dad have given to so many young girls and boys from different continents and countries, who came as strangers and left as their children, just like me, gives her the uniqueness that she is truly loved and now missed around the globe in a very personal way like maybe no other person." They are: Ana Alvardo Sanchez, Daniel Fasnacht, Vera Pandurovi? Zivanovi?, Jonas Uppenberg, Oscar Rodriguez, Alex Uy, Frank Dellinger, Ulf Carenback, Stephen Hesselgren, Karl Klefsgart, Henrik Lansenfeldt, Alex Pilz, and Scott Caldwell.
Her youngest son, Jimmy Sipes, precedes her in death.
Services will be held Friday, Sept. 2, 2011 at St. Clare's Church, 19606 Calla Way in Canyon Country, Calif. The rosary will be at 5:30 p.m., mass at 6 p.m. followed by a reception at the church in the Henry J. Banks Community Center. A private family burial will be held Saturday morning.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to Santa Clarita Valley Scholarship Foundation at scvsf.org., P.O. Box 220236 Santa Clarita, Calif., 91322 or Catholic Charities at catholiccharitiesusa.org., P.O. Box 17066 Baltimore, MD 21297.