Maria Elizabeth Welton née Valle was born on June 4th, 1959, in Glendale, California. In 1963 her family moved to Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, where her parents Nancy Lee Valle and Vicente Valle raised her and her six younger surviving siblings, John, Ann, Joseph, Susan, Thomas, and Caroline. She is also survived in death by her loving husband, Kurtis, and her five children, Carmen (William), Sophia, James, John, and Grace. Maria passed away surrounded by her family and friends on the evening of Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 after a painful but blessedly short battle with Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma.
Maria led a life of selflessness and generosity toward others, as evidenced through her constant dedication to education, volunteerism, and interpretation. She began this journey of giving as a grade-school teacher at the Escuela "Antonio Caso" in Guadalajara coincidental with her studies at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara (UAG). After graduating in 1979 from the UAG with a degree in Linguistics, Maria worked as an interpreter for foreign dignitaries in Guadalajara. In 1980 she moved to Mondovi, Wisconsin to care for her infirm grandmother, and continued to pursue her interest in language as an interpreter for Cuban refugees at Fort McCoy. While at Ft McCoy, working for the United States Catholic Conference (USCC), Maria met Kurt, and a two year courtship culminated in a beautiful wedding ceremony celebrated in Maria's childhood home of Guadalajara, at the Church of Our Virgin of Carmen, on June 26th, 1982 - the 2nd anniversary of their first kiss. Two years later, Maria and Kurt welcomed the birth of their eldest daughter.
All five children have attended Blessed Sacrament School, where the family has been parishioners for the past 22 years. Throughout her years of loving motherhood, Maria also continued to work in the fields of education and translation, in the Madison School District and as a free-lance interpreter. Yet just as important to her as these dual careers were Maria's many volunteer commitments, for example, she sat on the Board as a Lay member of the Valley of Our Lady Monastery.
Her love of music prompted her to help form Joyful Noise, a small ensemble choir at Blessed Sacrament Parish. She also sang with the funeral choir, and participated for many years in the Encore productions. Maria was also active in the Rosary Altar Society, helping to coordinate the Holiday Bazaar, where for a few years she and Francie Wesley sold handmade hats. Her sons' enthusiasm for swimming led her to sit on the Board of the West Side Swim Club for several years, and her daughters' interest in Girl Scouting gave Maria the opportunity to co-lead Sophia's troop. She also helped sew costumes for the Junior High musicals, served in the hot lunch line, and hand-wrote the 8th grade diplomas with her stunning calligraphy for many years. Maria volunteered in a wide variety of settings over the years, and her energy and dedication to these pursuits will be deeply missed. Maria's other passions included ballroom dancing, gardening, sewing, knitting, singing, and keeping in touch with her wide circle of friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her memory to the Rosary Altar Society of Blessed Sacrament Parish, or to the Valley of Our Lady Monastery near Baraboo, WI.