Mary Jo(ann) Mittelstaedt, 73, passed away on March 22, 2017 at her home in Kirkland, WA, following a brief illness.

Mary Jo was born Mary Jo Geisler on July 22, 1943 to Joseph and Ethel Geisler in Bowdon, North Dakota. She spent her youth helping on the family farm, before its sale and her starting a family of her own took her on an adventure that eventually landed her in Seattle, WA. Here she found professional success working as a welder in the shipyards and as a waitress in Snoqualmie, WA.

In 1977, she married John Mittelstaedt. They built their dream home together in Fall City, WA, where they lived until his passing on June 19, 2002.

Mary Jo was known for her strength in personality, her infectious laugh, her willingness to help those she cared for, and her love of gardening. One of the hardest parts of downsizing to a condo in the later years of her life was the lack of garden space, though that didn’t stop her from cultivating a garden of potted plants on her balcony. She loved to be surrounded by flowers.

She leaves behind a family in mourning that includes son Gregory Aldrich of Edmonds, WA; son Steven Aldrich of Kenmore, WA; brother Dennis Geisler of Colorado; Grandchildren Melissa (Jeremy) Fones of Snoqualmie, WA, David Aldrich of Edmonds, WA, Alicia (Gary) Koegler of Spring, TX, and Sara (Tim) Esser of Bellevue, WA; and great-grandchildren Benjamin Fones and Caden Koegler along with many lifelong friends.

Preceding her in death were parents Joseph and Ethel Geisler, husband John Mittelstaedt, and infant daughter Wendy Aldrich.

In accordance with her wishes, no public services will be held. Her family intends to gather for a celebration of her life at the Skagit Valley Tulip festival in April.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Obituaries

Most Read