COLORADO -- Marie Sailors, 97, formerly of Benkelman, died Sunday (Feb. 21, 2010) at Emeritus at Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.
She was born Feb. 1, 1913, to James and Nellie (Murphy) Fitzgerald. When she was 4 years old the family moved to Palisade. She attended Duchesne College in Omaha where she majored in English and home economics. After graduating, she taught school in Trenton.
On Jan. 15, 1941, she married Melvin "Cotton" Sailors at Holy Family Catholic Church in Palisade. She resided in Benkelman where she raised two children. She spent several years as a substitute teacher and was later elected Dundy County Superintendent of Schools.
She was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church where she was in the choir and was a member of the Altar Society. She was also a charter member of Country Music Benkelman. For the past four years she resided with her daughter in Colorado Springs, where she attended St. Paul Catholic Church.
She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Nellie Fitzgerald; her husband, Cotton Sailors; son, Jim Sailors; sister, Margaret Fitzgerald; brother, John Fitzgerald and wife, Hope; and her son-in-law, Jon Christenson.
Survivors include her daughter, Mary and son-in-law, Richard Alexa; her granddaughter, Marnie and grandson-in-law, Kelly Palmer.
The Memorial Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Saturday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Benkelman with the Rev. Fr. Christopher Goodwin, Celebrant. Inurnment followed services at the Benkelman Cemetery.
A vigil service and rosary was Friday at Forch Funeral Chapel in Benkelman.
In lieu of usual remembrances, it is suggested that memorials be given in her name to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Benkelman.
Arrangements were under the direction of Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman.