Mary Escue was a natural caregiver, spending her last ten years as a beloved home health case manager. She was a daughter, a sister, a mother, a grandmother. And she was fiercely loyal in each of those roles.
She was a woman with an infectious laugh and a passion for her patients, and on December 17, 2012, Mary was tragically taken from all who loved her.
We never knew Mary Escue at the Association, but within the year, a relationship with her daughter was budding.
Stephanie Watling, Mary’s daughter, joined our Strength & Serenity Support Group to aid in her healing journey, and now, a decade later, she is turning tragedy into hope. Hope for continued healing. Hope for others who have experienced the same. Hope for those who are affected by mental illness.
Mental Health Association Oklahoma is honored to be the beneficiary of the Mary Escue 5K Walk happening on the tenth anniversary of her death.
- Date: December 17, 2022
- Time: 9 a.m.
- Location: LaFortune Park, 5202 South Hudson Avenue Tulsa, OK 74135
Stephanie paints a beautiful picture of her mother in the excerpt below.
It has been almost 10 years since my mom, Mary Escue, was tragically taken from us on December 17,
2012. She was truly a bright light to this world. She had an infectious laugh and a joyful personality that
everyone around her was drawn to. I was one of the lucky ones who was able to call my mom my best
friend. I will forever be grateful that I was able to form a genuine friendship with her in the few years
before she died.
My mom was a home health case manager for 10+ years and loved what she did. She formed such full
relationships with patients and was such a blessing to everyone she encountered. One of her patients
would make homemade batches of salsa every time she knew my mom was coming to see her. My
mom’s love for working with the geriatric population is what helped grow my passion and ultimately
lead me to working in skilled nursing facilities as a speech pathologist. Along with her passion for her
career she also enjoyed gardening and tending her koi pond, reading, and was an avid Pittsburgh
Steelers fan and had no shame waving her “terrible towel” any chance she got. She was passionate
about her husband, three daughters, granddaughter, and was excited she had another grandchild on the
way- her first grandson. She was intentional about everything she did in her life, and you could truly feel
the joy she radiated. It’s a horrible tragedy that my mom was taken too soon but it’s my goal for others
to remember her for the beautiful life she led and to carry on her passion of serving others.
Mental Health Association Oklahoma was a huge blessing for me personally when I was living through
the greatest nightmare of my life. I found the Strength and Serenity support group a little over a year
after my mom was murdered. I was desperate to find something to give my life meaning and help me
process this horrific tragedy. The members and facilitator of the group truly helped carry me through
those first few years after my mom’s death. One group member drove me to the police station to
retrieve my mom’s belongings years after they were released. Another couple from the group has been
like an extra set of grandparents to my children. They became an extended family of sorts and were the
few people who could truly understand what it was like to lose someone in such an unexpected and
senseless manner. The group always said we wished we had never met, but since it was our fate, we
were lucky to find each other. I don’t know how I would have survived the past decade without them,
and I have the MHAOK to thank for providing us all with a support system in our darkest days.
My hope for this 5k memorial walk in honor of my mom is to raise awareness for mental health in our
community and help destigmatize the need for services. My mom is so much more than her death and I
hope we can all celebrate her life and continue to carry on her legacy of helping others.