Mary Josephine Gotch (Hjelm) of Shelley departed this life on September 18, 2023, at her home in the loving care of her daughter. Mary was 85 and passed peacefully after a long struggle with dementia. She leaves behind a large and loving family who will mourn her loss.
Mary was born on May 5, 1938 to George and Vara Hjelm, in Shelley, Idaho, into a large family of fun-loving pranksters. She attended school in Issaquah, WA and after the family moved back to Idaho, Mary graduated from Shelley High School. She married Jeryl Gotch of Shelley, Idaho, on October 13, 1956, and they had two children.
Mary loved her family. In the summertime she was “summer mom” to her nieces and nephews from Seattle. They would take road trips together to Arizona and Yellowstone. Mary and Jeryl loved to take their family everywhere.
Mary worked at GPOD for many years, she was fiercely independent and had a strong work ethic. After her retirement, she devoted her life to the care of her grandchildren and her many charitable activities. She gave many hours of her retirement years to driving for Meals-on-Wheels for the Shelley Senior Citizen’s Center. Mary prided herself on the relationships she had with those she delivered meals to. Mary was a force in the kitchen of the Senior Center on meal days, a position she held until just months before she died. She also enjoyed driving rental cars for Enterprise and National, a job she started with Jeryl before he passed.
A time-honored tradition in Mary’s family were the trips to Disneyland. Mary loved to don Mickey-Mouse ears and take the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to the park for 10 or more hours a day. She enjoyed the bustle of the crowd, the corn-dogs, and the rides. Winnie the Pooh and Splash Mountain were her favorite. Anyone lucky enough not to get wet on Splash Mountain or Grizzly Run, would be made to ride it again and again until they “had the true experience.”
Mary’s children and grandchildren remember her as a reliable and loving figure who would happily make “eggcakes” for anyone who wanted them on a Sunday morning. She was giving and generous with those she loved.
Mary is preceded in death by her parents, five sisters, four brothers, her loving husband, Jeryl of 58 years, and her son, Mark Gotch of Shelley.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Beverly “Bee” Ramos (Mondo), her daughter-in-law, Penny Gotch, sisters, Kathy Martin (Bruce) and Hope Lovell, brothers, Terry Hjelm and Clarence “Chirp” Hjelm, grandchildren, Tyler Olsen (Heather), Jared Olsen (Timanee), Kaitlin Gotch, Kristin Gotch-Byrd (Todd), and great-grandchildren, Zodia Olsen (Sydney), Azdyn Olsen, Xzavion Olsen, Mia Kinghon, Santana Olsen, Hendrix Olsen, Zeppelin Olsen, Mariam Byrd, and Margaret Byrd.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at the Shelley South Stake Center (675 South Milton). The family will receive friends Monday evening from 6:00 till 7:30 P.M. at Nalder Funeral Home, 110 W Oak Street, in Shelley and Tuesday from 11:30 till 12:45 P.M. at the church. Burial will be in the Shelley Hillcrest Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in Mary’s name to The Elite Retreat of Shelley.
Those who would like to participate in the funeral service remotely are invited to view the service on a live broadcast at