Mary Sharon Tress of Laurel passed away peacefully on Sept. 11, 2021.

Mary was born on June 23, 1951 in Baltimore Md., and moved to Dundalk, Md. in 1957. She attended Sacred Heart of Mary Grade School, and was among the class who broke ground for the new school in 1965. As an eighth grade class trip, she traveled with her class to the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. In 1969, she graduated from Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School, and eleven days later, began her 25-year career at the Social Security Administration (SSA) in Woodlawn, Md. 

On Feb. 12, 1974, Mary became the first young, single female with no children to ever buy a house in Baltimore County (Dundalk). She credited her fraternal grandmother, the late Frances Meinecke, who gave her U.S. Savings Bonds throughout her childhood, for helping her afford the down payment and closing costs for that house. She also credited her father, the late James William Meinecke, Sr., and his encouragement and faith in her, for giving her the courage to take such a huge step alone.

On June 13, 1977, Mary married the love of her life, the late William “Bill” Paul Tress, and her life truly began. Bill, a widower and an SSA employee, and Mary met at work, and from that moment, were inseparable and profoundly in love. They rode to and from work together; pitched in together to do all household chores; fixed meals together; shopped together; danced and laughed together often; and spent their annual vacations together at their beloved Wildwood, NJ. When Bill retired in 1986, he drove Mary to and from work, an hour each way, and used the time during the day to do all the housework, so they could be together when Mary came home. 

At SSA, Mary began as a GS-02 File Clerk in the Bureau of Disability Insurance, worked next in Earnings, and last in Systems. She spent 15 years in various management positions from first-line supervisor to branch manager, as well as teaching “Time and Leave” and “Progressive Discipline” sessions of First-Line Supervisors’ Classes and mentoring new supervisors. She retired from the Social Security Administration on Aug. 19, 1994, as a GS-12 Social Insurance Systems Specialist.

On April 30, 1996, Mary and Bill moved to their dream house in Laurel and began a glorious eight-year retirement. Mary was understandably devastated when Bill died on Oct. 30, 2004; she had not been the same since. In 2005, she worked nine months in the Walmart deli in Seaford, and made new friends, especially the inimitable and dear friend Karen Crapper. Then she worked five years for the state of Delaware as the Secretary for the Director of Nursing at Stockley Center in Georgetown, retiring in 2011.  

She joined the Seaford Boys and Girls Club, and met several friends at the pool, notably Jane Dusenbery and Elaine Kessler. She joined the Broad Creek Grange, and enjoyed time spent with neighbors, Joan and Willis Kirk and their family, and Shirley Steele. Her sister, Anna Meinecke Seuberth, visited frequently to keep her company, and grew to love Delaware so much that she moved here with her family in 2016.

In Dec. 2015, she began working for John G. Torkelson, Jr. CPA, doing taxes, and started a new life. She eagerly learned all she could about taxes, and found to her delight, that she truly loved the job! At John’s urging, Mary attended Delaware Technical College, earning 15 credits in Accounting and Tax preparation. She was welcomed into the office family, and became close to all her coworkers, including Debbie Torkelson, Sami George, Susi Knox, and particularly close friend, Darlene Beauchamp, and Darlene’s husband Donald.

Mary is survived by her sister, Anna Meinecke Seuberth, and Anna’s family; her uncle Charles Meinecke (to whom she will always be “Shirldeen”), aunt Diana and their family; and her cousin Vincent Hill and his family. In addition to her late husband, father and grandmother, Mary was predeceased by her aunt Norma Lang.

Graveside Services were held on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Millsboro.

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