Mary Elizabeth Hargett Zirbel
Mary Elizabeth Hargett Zirbel

November 10, 1929 - November 9, 2017
Born in Russellville, Alabama
Resided in Morrison, Colorado
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Mary Elizabeth Hargett Zirbel

A daughter, sister, wife and mother, an aunt, grandmother, great grandmother and friend , a creator of beautiful things, interested in everything and a woman able to do anything.

Born to Marshall and Maude Hargett near Russellville Alabama on Sunday November 10th, 1929.

She is the youngest child and sister to five siblings, brothers Hayden, Yuell, Emil, M.C. and sister Theresa, all of whom have preceded her in death.

She spent her early years of life in and around Russellville. She graduated from Belgreen High School in 1944 at the age of 15 and enrolled at Florence State Teachers College that same year. While attending classes at the College she lived at a boarding house in Florence, Alabama, and worked at the local Florence Times Daily Newspaper.

With the support from her brother Emil and sister Theresa, Mary was able to transfer and enroll at Florida Christian University where she graduated May 28th, 1948 with an Associates Degree in Arts.

A college friend convinced her to move to Midland, Texas where she attended Abilene Christian College and worked as secretary for Mid Continent Petroleum Company.
On February 6th 1953 Mary met Richard Lee (Dick) Zirbel on a blind date arranged by friends and 4 months later they were married in Las Cruces, New Mexico by the Justice of the Peace and two none english speaking witnesses.

The next few years saw several moves. One to Dallas where they worked and started their family with the birth of Ann Elizabeth born November 17, 1954. The next move took them to Denver where they added Noel Andrea on February 18th, 1957 and Richard Alan on October 5th 1958.

Having worked in Denver and lived in Arvada for 9 years they decided to purchase their first home there in 1967. Dick and Mary raised their family in that house and in 1981 as empty nesters decided to move to their dream home in Morrison, Colorado where they both lived until Dick’s death on March 7th 2007 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

Mary became a Grandmother on July 3rd 1982 with the birth of Sean lee Sawyer followed by Jessica Beth Zirbel Stanislawski, Sarah Ann Sawyer and Kenneth Alan Zirbel.

She became a Great Grandmother on September 6th, 2012 with the birth of Vivian Lee Stanislawski followed by Nolan Alexander Stanislawski.

Throughout her life Mary was interested and inquisitive about everything.

A product of the great depression, she learned at a young age and by example from her brothers that if you wanted or needed something you usually had to make it and she could make almost anything. She was a proficient artist, fashion designer, metalsmith, potter, sculptor, seamstress and woodworker and if that was not enough she was also an auto mechanic, carpenter, welder and upholsterer.

Mary loved music, classical, contemporary and opera. She loved bluegrass and she loved to play her harmonica and banjo.

She was very happy outdoors. She skied and hiked, played tennis and golf and she developed lifelong friendships through all of these activities.

She was a woman of faith and a woman with strong political convictions.

Mary lived a full and wonderful life - She passed away peacefully at her home of 37 years surrounded by family on November 9th 2017 at the age of 87 years, 11 months and 30 days - one day before her 88th Birthday.

Donations in Mary’s memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association: Colorado Chapter, 455 Sherman St #500, Denver, CO 80203, or a charity of your choice.

Mary Elizabeth Hargett Zirbel, you will be loved and missed by all that had the privilege of knowing you.

“Mary, being married to you is like putting out a series of small brush fires”
Your Loving Husband - Richard Lee Zirbel




Pavilion Service
Fort Logan National Cemetery - Area C
4400 W Kenyon Ave
Denver, 80236
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
2:15 PM


Alzheimer's Association - Colorado Chapter
455 Sherman Street, Suite 500
Denver, CO US 80203
Research in the prevention and cure of Alzheimers.