One From the Heart
Friends, family and entertaining-these three elements are perfectly blended in a lovely lady named Mary Fielitz. She has many close and dear friends whom she values and who value her. She is the pillar of her family and the glue that holds them together. She entertains in her home in a way that makes all of her guests feel that unique combination of well-cared-for and perfectly at ease.
Like many others, Mary and her husband, Henry, came from up North- New Jersey to be exact-because they were tired of freezing winters and awful traffic. They had been to Hilton Head on a visit to Henry's brother who had recently retired here, and when they came for a return trip, the decision was instantly made. They bought a home in Indigo Run and never looked back. They have been there for more than 10 years.
Mary's family has always been of foremost importance to her. When her children started Sunday school, there she was serving as a planning advisor for the three- to five-year-old program, teaching Sunday school, and volunteering in the church office. During this time, she also served as a Pink Lady in their local hospital. Both Mary and Henry also became involved and active in their local chapter of the Girl Scouts, making life a family affair. They also spent weekends and any free time relaxing, fishing, and just being together on their boat at the Jersey shore.
Shortly after moving to Indigo Run, Mary joined the Woman's Club and was one of the first board members. She held the office for which she was best suited: Sunshine Chairman, of course. Who could be better to send cards, make phone calls, and see that some "sunshine" was brought into the lives of those who needed it? She sent cards for all appropriate occasions, but also took it upon herself to go the extra mile and keep in touch with those who might need additional help and support through tough times.
Both Mary and Henry were also a part of the very early days of The Sandbox Children's Discovery Museum. They had pieces of a pirate ship and a playhouse in their garage for months while they and many of their neighbors worked on the facility and the building of exhibits. They also worked with a neighbor to design and create all of the shelving for the children's room at Coastal Discovery Museum. Look for their names on the wall plaque next time you are there.
Mary is also the glue that has held her family of two children and six grandchildren together through some sad times. One of her grandsons suffered childhood cancer and finally had to have his entire leg amputated. However, said Mary, "He never saw any reason why he could not play Little League, be on a swim team and, in fact, be an award-winning high school wrestler. He has done all of those things." One of her granddaughters has also faced serious surgery that will require nearly a year in recovery. Again, Mary has shared her philosophy with her beloved family: "Be all that you can be. Dig deep and reach high. You might be surprised at what you are capable of doing!" What a fabulous philosophy to share as an inspiration to one's children and grandchildren.
Mary is a regular attendee at the Crossroads non-traditional services at First Presbyterian Church. Not just content to sit in the pew and sing, Mary saw that the newly-organized setting for the services was in need of a couple of major items. Bringing this home to Henry, her woodworking husband, they worked with Reverend Sam Martin and designed and built a beautiful Baptismal Font and Communion Table which now grace the front of the altar.
A lovely, gracious, and yes, frequent hostess, Mary says, "We are not very formal people. We try to keep things simple." Her best tip for entertaining is to prepare in advance so you can enjoy your own party. What is her cooking specialty? Well, it is dessert; and the favorite of all of her delicious recipes is pound cake. She makes it and serves it with everything from ice cream and chocolate syrup to strawberries and cream. It is sinful and fabulous!
Mary and Henry have been happily married for over 50 years. They recently celebrated that anniversary with a surprise party given by their son. Mary told her gathered friends and family that she and Henry have been sweethearts since they were 17 years old. That is very rare and beautiful, as is Mary.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant?
A: We have lots of great restaurants here, but we seem to keep coming back to the Black Marlin.
Q: I know you are a great reader. What are some of your favorite books?
A: I like historical novels and historical biographies. I have just finished John Adams, by David Mc Cullough. I am also drawn to stories about strong women.
Q: Do you have an heirloom or family treasure that you value?
A: Yes, I have a beautiful tablecloth that was crocheted by my husband's grandmother. I also have a little milk glass chicken that belonged to my mother.
Q: Do you have a favorite view on the island?
A: I love marsh views, but I also love to just look out my back patio window. We have a lovely view of trees and birds.
Q: Who do you admire?
A: Well, aside from my husband, of course, I would have to say Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a woman of great courage.