Remembering Mary Bartels

Long-time Mesa Lab staffer

September 4, 2014 | Mary Bartels, whose career at NCAR spanned much of the institution’s history, passed away on August 27 in North Branch, Minnesota, where she had been living over the past year.

Mary moved to Colorado from Minnesota in 1966, when her husband, Dale, got a job with IBM.  She came to NCAR in November 1975 after working at The Harvest House (now the Millennium Harvest House) as a switchboard operator.

Mary Bartels

Mary began at NCAR in the Facilities group as a telephone switchboard operator. The switchboard was still a “cord board” at the time, and all calls into NCAR came through it—there were no direct extensions—so many people at NCAR spoke with Mary. In 1978, Mary moved from this position to ASP and trained Judy Green to take over on the switchboard (which Judy has staffed ever since). After her time in ASP, Mary worked in the Scientific Computing Division (SCD, CISL’s predecessor) with such colleagues as Janice Kauvar, Roy Jenne, Walter McIntyre, and Bill Buzbee.

In 1996, Mary became a casual employee, a role she fulfilled until 2006. She worked as a telephone operator and filled in for absent staff in SCD, the NCAR/UCAR libraries, and the front desk, once again connecting with many staff and visitors.

Mary was a very careful and meticulous employee, but she was also a warm and congenial colleague and a pleasure to work with. She always had funny stories about family and other people at NCAR. She exchanged many recipes and anecdotes, and she continued to love to learn new things and meet and talk with new people. Mary was a true asset to NCAR and will be remembered with much fondness and kindness. 

Mary is survived by her four sons and their spouses, as well as seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Fairview Lakes Home Caring & Hospice (11725 Stinson Ave., Chisago City, MN 55013) or TRU Community Care Hospice (2594 Trailridge Drive East, Lafayette, CO 80026). Staff wishing to share memories can do so at at the Daily Camera's tribute site for Mary.

—Marla Meehl, CISL, and Judy Green, F&A