Mary Ellen Richardson Mottle was born in Lake
Andes, South Dakota, April 16, 1925 to Esther Mary
Moran Richardson and Fay Ernest Richardson. She was
the fourth of eleven children born to the Richardson
family. She attended Lake Andes public schools where
she excelled academically, particularly winning both oral
and written spelling contests for which she was awarded a
National Award. Her teenage summers were spent on her
grandfather’s and aunts’ farms doing kitchen work and
carrying meals to the field workers.

Mary Ellen supervised two of her younger siblings on
the lengthy train trip to the west coast when her family
moved to Seattle in 1942. On the advice of the pastor
Father Thomas Quain she was enrolled for her senior
year in Immaculate High School, operated by the Holy
Names Sisters. Upon graduation and during the war, she
worked at Boeing for a time as a “Rosie,” earning her
the nickname “Bucky” because she held the buck board
in the wings during riveting. After the war, Standard Oil
Company employed her for a number of years. Her duties
included counting cash from gas station sales. She married
Joseph Mottle and began to raise her family, which eventually included seven

Later she worked for the Seattle Public School District, beginning as
a teacher’s assistant. Her accounting skills led her to be part of the Seattle
Schools’ Purchasing Department, where she became a buyer/purchaser and
remained until retirement. During this time she was active in St. Anne’s
Elementary, Holy Names Academy, O’Dea, Seattle Prep, St. Martin’s and
Bishop Blanchett. It is one of her proudest accomplishments that she provided
a college education for five of her children and significant occupational
training for her other two children. She became an expert at typing term

Particularly delightful for Mary Ellen were numerous
camping trips the family took throughout Washington
and Oregon. These often included her sisters, nieces
and nephews. Later she enjoyed many travels with her
sisters Cecilia, now deceased, and Farroel to Mexico and
Hawaii several times, Newfoundland, Panama and Nevada
Casinos. She stayed close to her siblings as she said where
else could she take seven children but to see their cousins.
Mary Ellen divorced when her youngest child was
three years old. She virtually raised her children as
a single parent, providing each one with a Catholic
education, not to mention much family discipline, high
expectations, lots of laughter, plus a few tears and huge
doses of love! Her strong Catholic faith served as a source
of strength throughout her life.

Mary Ellen spent the last ten years at Bayview Manor,
where she received excellent care. An active participant
in activities, her humor was appreciated and enjoyed by
staff and residents. Her aging years were peaceful and
prayerful. Her devotion to the rosary never waned nor did
her love of her Irish heritage.

Mary Ellen is survived by her children Mary Ann (Ed Sinclair), JoAnn
(John Ullstrom), Mark, Neal, Carol (Jim Kovach) and Lucy. She was preceded
in death by her son, Paul, and granddaughter, Theresa. She is survived by
siblings Farroel Richardson, SNJM and Robert Richardson, 12 grandchildren,
three great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and cousins whom she
adored and they adored her. She passed peacefully on January 19 on Queen
Anne Hill, where she had resided since 1942.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Nile Country Club, 6601 244th St
SW, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043 on Friday, February 8 at 10am. Donations
can be made to the charity of your choice or to the Holy Names Sisters
Retirement Fund.