Mary Rivers Ellis Staats, 79, of Charleston died on Friday, June 17th, 2022, at a local hospital with her son Charles Edgar Staats III by her side. In addition to her son, she is survived by three siblings, Ann Ellis Smith of Charleston, Jeannette Reese (Bob) of Black Mountain NC, Daniel Ellis Jr. (Jennene) of Mt. Pleasant, and her stepchildren Amy Staats (Jeff) of Brooklyn, NY and Susannah Staats (Ben) of Berkeley, CA and step-grandchildren Ian and Ezra Chesluk-Staats. She was predeceased by her husband Charles (“Ched”) Edgar Staats, Jr. in 2014.
Mary was born on May 31st, 1943, the daughter of Dr. Daniel Wordsworth (“Doc”) and Anna Swinton Welch (“Kitty”) Ellis and lived on James Island for almost all her life. She loved working with children and served on the Staff at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center. She was a life-long educator, including, at the end of her career, as a beloved P.E. Teacher at Mason Prep School. She was among the first selected for the Athletic Hall of Fame at Ashley Hall.
Mary is remembered by her family and friends as a much-loved neighbor, mother, sister, aunt, and wife and had an infectious zest for life and a warm laugh. Mary enjoyed taking her boat in the creek. She shared her love of fishing and shrimping with anyone who asked. She had a great sense of humor, a big heart, and a strong moral center; she improved the lives of everyone she met. Mary loved music and was a member of St. James Church, where she was a joyful choir member.
Funeral services will be held at Saint James Church on James Island on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at 11 am. Interment, churchyard. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (act.alz.org) or to the ASPCA (aspca.org).