Mary was born on December 5th, 1922, in Rapid City, S.D. to Clarence and Nellie (Fox) Switzer. She lived with her parents and three siblings at Rocky Point, WY, a small farm and ranch community, 60 miles northeast of Gillette, WY. The one room schoolhouse up the road provided the four Switzer children with a formidable education as well as many fond childhood memories. Perhaps those same memories inspired her later to teach at a similar school. Since Rocky Point had no high school, it was decided the three girls would live with their maternal grandmother and attend Cathedral Catholic High School in Rapid City, SD. Leaving home to live with Grandma Fox and Aunt Josie for the school year had it’s draw backs, but getting off the farm and making new friends especially boys kept homesickness at bay. Those four years passed quickly and soon Mary graduated and was off to Normal Training in Gillette, WY.