Floral 04

Mary E. Nimtz

January 31, 1933 ~ February 14, 2020 (age 87) 87 Years Old




The family will be hosting a celebration of life to honor Mary Ellen Nimtz who died February 14, 2020 at the age of 87. Mary was the founder and owner of Valley Lea Laboratories until her retirement in 2015.

The event will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, October 9, 2021 , at Northwest United Methodist Church, 21855 Brick Road, South Bend, IN 46628

Visitation will be from 2-3pm at Northwest United Methodist Church

with the memorial service immediately following.


Mary E. Nimtz, 87, of Mishawaka, passed away in her home at Tanglewood Place, Friday, February 14, 2020, at 1:30 PM. She was surrounded by loving family and dear friends.

Mary Ellen Grayckowski was born January 31, 1933, in South Bend, to the late Frank and Catherine (Metras) Grayckowski. She was born at home in a house that later became the South Bend Animal Clinic. Mary was raised on Huey Street in South Bend. She was known by her friends and family as MEG. On August 18, 1956, at Holy Cross Church in South Bend, she married Richard Daniel “Dick” Nimtz. He preceded her in death on June 26, 2004.

Mary was the founder and owner of Valley Lea Laboratories for 35 years until her retirement in February 2015.

Mary attended St. Francis College in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After a fifteen-year college hiatus, she completed her Bachelor's degree in microbiology from St. Francis while working full-time.

Mary, Dick and their growing family lived in Indiana (Muncie, Elkhart, Marion, Lafayette, and South Bend), Illinois (Streamwood & Decatur), and Niles, Michigan. They raised their boys on The Farm in Niles Township. After the kids were grown, Dick and Mary became empty nesters and moved back to South Bend.

Mary’s professions were chemistry and microbiology. Her career took her to Whitehall Laboratories, Miles Labs, The United States Aviex Company, Garrett Labs, Valley Lea Dairies, and finally Valley Lea Laboratories. Mary served her community as a member of the St. Mary’s (Niles) School Board, the Niles Public Library Board, and as a Niles Township trustee. Mary enjoyed china painting, collecting Wade porcelain figurines, making candy with her grandchildren, and collecting art pottery with Dick.

She was a member of Little Flower Catholic Church in South Bend. 

Mary was preceded in death by her husband Dick, their youngest son, Michael Nimtz on June 24, 2014, and her brothers Elmer and Robert Grayckowski. Mary is survived by her brother Frank Grayckowski of New Carlisle, IN and her inseparable companion, Ruben Horne of Mishawaka. Also surviving Mary are sons Richard (Mary Ann) Nimtz of Granger; John (Sherry) Nimtz of Berrien Springs, MI; Kurt (Ranelle) Nimtz of Mishawaka; and Steven (Patty) Nimtz of Burnsville, MN. Grandchildren are Betsy (Richard) Salvagni, Zack (Libby) Nimtz, Erin Nimtz, Dakota Whittling, Charlie (Michelle) Nimtz, and Daniel Nimtz. Great Grandchildren are Mira Salvagni, Gia Salvagni, Willow Nimtz, Hazel Nimtz, Nathaniel Nimtz, and Lawson Nimtz.

The family would like to thank Comfort 1 Hospice in South Bend, Creekside Village and St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka for their dedicated care, compassion, and excellent service. The family also extends their gratitude to the staff, management, and residents of Tanglewood Trace in Mishawaka, her home since March 2014.

A time of remembrance and a memorial service will take place later this year. Cremation has taken place.
Memorial contributions may be made to foundations that were so meaningful to Mary: Pet Refuge, 4626 S Burnett Dr, South Bend, IN 46614 and Riley Children's Foundation
30 South Meridian Street, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46204.


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