There was one task Velmer Fassel was not able to complete because of his unexpected death. That was to honor his wife Mary with a brick in the Plaza of Heroines at the Carrie Chapman Catt building. To carry out his wishes a friend of Mary and Velmer will try to put into words some of his thoughts about Mary to accompany the brick.
Mary Katschke Fassel was born in Frederickstown, Missouri. While attending Southeast Missouri State College she met Velmer in the library. She needed help finding a chemistry book and who better to come to the rescue than he. That was the beginning of a three year courtship and 55 years of marriage. Mary taught school for two years in Frederickstown Missouri before marrying and joining Velmer in Ames where he was a graudate student working on the Manhattan Project. Mary worked for the first 10 years of their marriage at the university conducting analyses on uranium to determine the calcium magnesium and boron content. Velmer would be the first to say that Mary was an integral part of his success. Visiting scholars and dignitaries from around the world were captivated by Mary's gourmet cooking and hospitality. Their home and yard were Mary's showcase and provided the ambience for their many parties from their wassail to psychadelic to the annual New Year's Eve galas. Since Velmer's international reputation required a great deal of travel Mary was his constant companion around the world. She was behind the scenes aide and a great asset in the many social events required of them. Mary was a member of the Faculty Women's Club and volunteered in the Mary Greeley Hospitality Shop.
The Fassels were members of the Collegiate Presbyterian Church where Mary served as deaconess and elder.