Obituary: Mary Ellen Tallerico Oct. 11, 1940 – April 25, 2022

MARY ELLEN TALLERICO Oct. 11, 1940 – April 25, 2022

Mary Ellen Tallerico was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She passed away April 25, 2022, in Boulder, Colorado, after a heroic battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones.

Mary Ellen was born Oct. 11, 1940 in Milton, Massachusetts. She went to college first at Manhatanville and then at Tufts University and received her bachelor’s degree in teaching math.

While in college, Mary Ellen met the love of her life, Paul Tallerico. Paul was also studying in Boston at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mary Ellen and Paul got married Aug. 25, 1962, following Paul’s graduation.  

The newlyweds moved to Pleasantville, New York while Paul pursued his master’s degree before they moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1964, where Paul started his Ph.D. program in Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan. While Paul studied, Mary Ellen taught elementary school mathematics. Shortly thereafter, Mary Ellen and Paul welcomed their first daughter, Catherine Anne.

Once Paul received his Ph.D. in 1968, they moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico where Paul began work as an electrical engineer at the prestigious Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Mary Ellen and Paul welcomed their second daughter, Ellen Barbara, in 1968 and Mary Ellen became a homemaker for several years. She loved being an enormous part of her daughters’ lives, leading their brownie and then girl scout troops, coaching lassie league soft ball teams, sewing ballet and school costumes and attending every school event.

In addition to doting on her daughters and husband, Mary Ellen was an accomplished piano player, specializing in Joplin rags. She would fill the house each evening with music and melodies. She was also a Master Gardner, intent on bringing out the best of the high-desert landscape at 7,000’. In her spare time, Mary Ellen spent countless hours giving back to the community. She volunteered with the Los Alamos Planning Board, the Board of Adjustment and Assessment and the Los Alamos Utility Board, where she served as Chair for two years.

After her daughters headed off to school, Mary Ellen went back to work. She also joined the staff at LANL, and worked for twenty years programing computers in order to study the effect of shock waves in explosive systems.  When not at work, Mary Ellen enjoyed traveling with Paul, taking dozens of trips to Europe, as well as Russia and Japan. They were fortunate to spend over a year living abroad in Gif sue Evette, France, just outside of Paris. Mary Ellen loved to speak French (with her Massachusetts accent!) and enjoyed the immersive living experience. After Mary Ellen and Paul retired from LANL, they continued to travel quite a bit and lived primarily in Boulder, Colorado and Scottsdale, Arizona to be close to their daughters.

Mary Ellen is survived by her husband of sixty years, Dr. Paul J. Tallerico, her two daughters Catherine Tallerico and Dr. Ellen Olson, her four grandchildren Sydney and Harry Rogers and Seaver and Silas Olson, her two brothers John and Thomas and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Her family loved her with all their hearts. The family will continue to honor Mary Ellen’s bright spirit and love for adventure and travel by living their lives to the fullest.  

A service will be held at Frasier Meadows in the Eldorado Room in Boulder Colorado May 26, 2022 and at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church in Los Alamos in September. In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration of a donation to the Colorado Cancer Foundation.

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