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Posted on July 23, 2015 | 11:30 a.m.

Mary Dell Olin Pritzlaff of Santa Barbara, 1929-2015

Source: Pritzlaff Family

Mary Dell Olin Pritzlaff died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Saturday, July 18, 2015.

Mary Dell was born in Alton, Illinois, on August 15, 1929. She was the beloved daughter of Ann Whitney Olin and Spencer Truman Olin. She grew up along the Mississippi River, developing a lifelong commitment to philanthropy and horses.

After graduation from Briarcliff College, she married John Charles Pritzlaff Jr. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They would be married for 54 years until his death in 2005.

In 1958, they moved their family to Phoenix, Arizona. Both Mary Dell and John were civically and politically active, striving with many others to improve their community. Mary Dell served as president of the Phoenix Art Museum Board of Trustees. Some of her other civic service included The Heard Museum Board of Trustees, The Phoenix Symphony board and The Board of Visitors.

In 1979, in recognition of her many years of community service, Mary Dell was named Phoenix Woman of the Year.

From 1969 to 1972, John and Mary Dell were privileged to represent the United States in Malta, where he served as the U.S. ambassador.

Mary Dell served on the board of Washington University for more than 25 years, continuing a family legacy of support and leadership. In 2000, she received the William Greenleaf Eliot Society award for exceptional service from this institution.

She also served for many years on the Claremont McKenna College Board of Trustees, and for more than 40 years was a trustee of the Monticello College Foundation in Godfrey, Illinois.

For 36 years, she served as the Arizona director for the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, which maintains Stratford Hall, the home of the Lee family. In 2009, she was honored for this service with the Lee Integrity Award, and an award from Preservation Virginia, in recognition of her support of historic preservation in Virginia.

Mary Dell fulfilled her life-long passion for horses through breeding, training, and showing hackney and long tail ponies. Several of her ponies were world champions.

Mary Dell is survived by her four children, Ann (Fife) Symington of Phoenix, Arizona; John (Satya) Pritzlaff III of Castle Rock, Colorado; Barbara (Doug) Pierce of Greenwood Village, Colorado; and Richard Pritzlaff of Louisville, Colorado.

She is survived by her two sisters, Barbara Taylor of Chicago, Illinois, and Judy Higgins of Greenwich, Connecticut.

She is also survived by 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at St. Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church, 6715 N. Mockingbird Lane, Paradise Valley, Arizona 85253 at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 26, 2015.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to St. Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church; The Reagan Ranch Center-Young America’s Foundation, 217 State St., Santa Barbara, California 93101; or the charity of your choice.


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