February 15, 1956 – February 8, 2022

Mary Brought Only Joy and Did No Harm

Mary Critchfield passed away on Tuesday, February 8 at Pikes Peak Hospice in Penrose Main after a month-long illness. She was born in Chicago and raised in San Jose, California. She became a Camp Fire girl at age 10 and explored the Santa Cruz Mountains with that organization until she completed high school. After graduating from Silver Creek 1974, she served in the Navy for five years living at Pearl Harbor Hawaii, San Diego, Rhode Island, Orlando, and Chicago. Mary then lived in Arcata, California for about 15 years while a student at Humboldt State University earning her Bachelor of Arts and then working in special education. A devout Catholic, Mary ran the children’s Sunday school program in Humboldt for several years at her local church.

Mary moved to Colorado Springs in 1993 with her mother Carole “Corkey” Critchfield and sister Ann Bettencourt and had been happily living in the beautiful Pikes Peak region ever since. Mary loved to join things! She was a Red Hat lady for over 15 years, loved to play card games and board games, and was an original (Star) Trekkie. She enjoyed all things sci-fi including hearing legends William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy live and in person at StarFest events. Mary was also a long-time supporter of the Fine Arts Center and enjoyed the live performances and outstanding exhibits. She attended Holy Apostles Church for more than 20 years serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion for several of those years.

Mary is survived by her brother James Critchfield and sisters Donna Shaikh and Ann Bettencourt. She is also survived by her brother-in-law Atif Shaikh, nephew Razzaq Shaikh, his wife Jayda Shaikh and stepdaughter Fatima Maharouf, niece Samina Pathan, her husband Naved and their three children Hamza, Yusra and Medina, and long-time family friend Eileen Redbud, 36-year partner to John Critchfield. Mary is preceded in death by father Milton, mother Carole and brother John.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 5 at 2 p.m. at the Shrine of Remembrance, 1730 East Fountain Blvd., Colo. Springs 80910. Immediately following Mary’s service in the America the Beautiful Chapel, a gathering will be held across the street from the Shrine at the Olympian Plaza Reception & Event Center at 975 South Union Blvd. Cookies and hot and cold beverages will be served from 3:00-4:30 p.m. Please join family and friends there. Mary’s ashes will be interred with her mother’s at the Song of Mary Columbarium also at the Shrine of Remembrance at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, $10 and $20 donations for Mary’s Cheyenne Mountain Zoo bench plaque are welcomed. https://www.cmzoo.org/support/ > Make a Donation> then in the Comments box at checkout include “Mary Elizabeth Critchfield Bench.”

Thanks to everyone for all the love and support during this tough time.

“Death is not life’s goal, only life’s terminus. The goal is to live in such a way that our lives will prove worth dying for. This is where love comes into the picture. The only thing that can’t be taken from us, even by death, is the love we give away before we go.” –Forrest Church, Unitarian Universalist Minister

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This Obituary Has 6 Condolences

  1. Mary, you were a gift to Danielle, Eden and I. An amazing Godmother who always made time for both of them, attending events big and small. The world is less bright without your light , but we will hold all the lovely memories you gave us in our hearts forever. We were blessed to know you.

  2. I have lost a younger “sister” and great, caring friend. Have no doubt you and Corkey are having fun together! Hope there are DVD movies and card games in Heaven. Lynn

  3. Mary had a positive, loving, kind, attentive, fun spirit. She seemed to care about everyone she met. I have 57 years of Mary in my life as a neighbor, friend and “sister.” She is forever in my memory and heart.
    I will miss her very much.
    I am so sorry for your loss Ann, Jim, Donna, Atif, Samina, Razzaq and Eileen❤

  4. My significant other sister. A good person, a silly heart and my friend. She loved celebrating special occasions and her family very much. She always treated me like family and every phone call we shared ended with her laughing. I hear her still… Sympathy to all who loved her. 💔

  5. Such sad and shocking news. Mary really was one of a kind. A very special woman who absolutely loved life and her family. God bless her and her family. May her memory be a blessing.

  6. I am very saddened by the news of Mary’s passing. I so much appreciate that her sister let me know. Mary and I worked together and Glen Paul School in Eureka. We had such fun together and have been friends ever since. She had a fun nature and a love for life. One summer we were watching a house being built with a mother-in-law unit. On our last day of summer school, we asked if we could look inside and took a tour of the near finished house. Everything was fun with Mary. Her light will surely be miss. My deepest sympathy.

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