Maria (born Mar'a de los Ángeles Orozco Gálvez) Mecum, 84, of Greencastle, died Friday, Jan. 30, 2015.
She was born Dec. 21, 1928 in a silver mine shaft near Tecalitlán, Mexico, with bullets and bombs going off just outside, during the Cristero War.
Her family moved frequently due to her father's military transfers. Her parents decided that she should attend a military boarding school. Her birth certificate was changed to add two years to her age so at the tender age of four years she began school with six year olds.
Her parents moved away and she would go for many years with no visits. She studied hard and was an honor student who would often carry the school flag in parades. She was extremely lonely and stayed close to her younger brother Daniel and learned to amuse herself with nature, appreciating beautiful flowers, gardens and fruit trees at her school.
A school laundry worker mentored her and taught her she should become a nun. She dedicated herself to this until graduation. Her father then intervened and stopped her, introducing her to Baptist missionaries who referred her to a church-sponsored group home where she was able to work in a print shop and pay her way through nursing school.
Maria was a modest and hard-working young woman. While working as a cardiac nurse in Panama, she met her future husband, Kent, and they were married there in 1955.
They lived in Evansville, Bloomington and settled in Greencastle, where Kent was a Spanish professor and Maria taught medical Spanish to nursing students at DePauw. She worked as a CCU nurse at Putnam County Hospital for many years, and later at the DePauw student health center and Asbury Towers. Her tender care was appreciated by her patients who often sent her home with flowers and chocolates.
Maria was extremely hard working and held herself to the highest standards of behavior. She was self-sacrificing, generous to others and always ready with kind words and encouragement. She had a quick warm smile and her face radiated love for everyone. Her thoughts and struggles were private and she shared them in detailed journals. She missed her native country, its music, the food, the culture and especially her family. At the end of her life, she spoke often of wanting to go home. Her attention was always to her family. She said she had no need to go elsewhere for anything.
She loved being a mother and said it was the highest calling, puts you closer to God, and that He heard the prayers of mothers for their children first. Like her mother, she ended every day with a prayer for each family member to be blessed and protected.
Maria was an active member of Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, a Sunday school teacher, active in the women's group, and a Cub Scout den mother there.
She found the most happiness in helping others, sharing pressed leaves and flowers, funny comics and her simple drawings. She made sure that nobody in sight ever went hungry or thirsty. Her children remember her as a mother who never raised her voice or spanked them even once. She was truly an Angel who spent some time out of place here on earth. Now she has gone home to where she belongs.
Maria was preceded in death by her son George and her parents, Nicolas Salvador Orozco-Quintana and Eloisa Gálvez-Uyoque.
She is survived by her husband (Kent), three children, Robert (Jessica), Linda (Sam) and Fred (Julie), and six grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14 at Gobin United Methodist Church, Greencastle. Interment will follow at 3 p.m. at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis.
The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until time of service at the church on Saturday.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Arthritis Foundation.
Condolences and expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at www.BittlesandHurt.com.