by Paul Rodriguez
Friend and long time Red Rock Audubon member, Mary Switalla passed away unexpectedly on May 20, 2020. Mary served as our Las Vegas Hospitality Chair for the past few years, she was always smiling and happy to share with us her wonderful baked goods we all enjoyed so much.
When we think of Mary there is only one word that comes to mind. Love. The love that flowed out of her into everything she did and every person she touched. She was a bright light in all of our lives.
Our condolences to her husband Jim and all of the Switalla family.
Please click below to read more about this wonderful lady.
Mary Jo Switalla
MAY 31, 2020 BY LINCOLN COUNTY CENTRAL
Mary Jo Switalla (Witz), age 69, passed away unexpectedly on May 20, 2020, in St George, Utah. Born the seventh of thirteen children on July 28, 1950, in Norway, Michigan, she moved to Nevada at age ten and attended Lincoln County High School. Her first two children, Bobbi Jo Stewart and Monica Rivera, were born in Caliente. She moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where her third child, Russell McNaught, was born. She was blessed with six biological grandchildren (raising Anthony Rivera) and three great grandchildren; and four children, eleven grandchildren, and one greatgrandchild by marriage.
Mary worked in the gaming industry, first as a change girl and later as a booth cashier. This is where she met her beloved husband of twenty-seven years, James Switalla. She retired from Harrah’s after about twenty-five years.
Mary never left a story untold and her sense of humor could make a salty sailor blush. She was a ball of positive energy and never stopped giving: her baked goods filled the bellies of family, friends, and volunteer groups, and her home was open so family and adopted strays could attend college. Mary cheered at every UNLV Rebel basketball and football game for nearly thirty years. She loved spending time in nature: hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, kayaking, birding, and rockhounding. After retirement, Mary and Jim spent summers camping and trying every craft brewery they came across. In memorial, step out into nature, drink a beverage, and send a smile.
editor's note: Mary was a great supporter of Red Rock Audubon. In addition to her generosity in providing baked foods and coffee at our general meetings she always sent along delicious food for our board meeting pot lucks. Mary also did double duty for many years by managing our hospitality table and our raffle table. Mary and Jim were frequent attendees at our Birds and Beer (or Beverage) get togethers (she introduced me to Paleo Porter) and Mary always brought along a wonderful treat she made for us to share. Mary and Jim helped promote the work of our chapter thru work at the Rainbow Owl Preserve and at our community outreach events. She will truly be missed. (NC)