Mary Louise Bezold Vater
Mary Louise Bezold Vater, age 92, of Alexandria, KY died November 29th of natural causes at River Valley Nursing Home, Butler KY. She was born March 16, 1924 in California, KY and married Vic Vater on October 12, 1946 at St. Stephens in Newport, KY. Preceded in death by her husband, Victor Leroy Vater; her parents, Catherine Meyer Bezold and Joseph Bezold; infant daughter, Mary; siblings Mildred Schack, Ralph Bezold and Eileen Bezold. Survived by her children, Connie Spaw (Jim), Rick Vater (Cathleen) and Kim Nickell (Kent); grandchildren, Artie Spaw (Heather), Adam Spaw, Allison Barlow (Adam), Joel Nickell (Jessie), Mara and Olivia Schappacher; great grandchildren, Elias and Finn Spaw, Aurora Barlow and Lucy Nickell; brother, Glenn Bezold; also survived by many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. Mary worked many jobs during WW II before graduating from cosmetology school in Cincinnati in 1959. She was owner and operator of various small businesses including Vater’s Beauty Salon and Vater’s Playground for over 50 years. Mary was a longtime member of St. Mary of the Assumption in Alexandria, KY. She was the ASA Softball Commissioner for N. KY. Excerpts from The Kentucky Post article by Jack Hicks article published on Wed., Aug. 5, 1998 “Vater Family gave gift of diamonds” Mary Vater never had time for a seventh-inning stretch. “I don’t know how I did what I did,” said the matriarch of the ball park-operating Vater Family. Sliding base runners have been stirring up the dust at Vater’s Field in southern Campbell County for 50 years, but Mrs. Vater and members of her family have created quite a dust cloud themselves just keeping the place running. Victor Vater was the first, and after he suffered a stroke while still in his 30s, the work fell to Mary, his wife. Early on, her daughters Connie and Kim and her son, Rick, helped. In recent years Rick Vater, along with Connie and her husband, Jim Spaw, have kept things going. “As soon as the kids knew a nickel from a dime they were working in the concession stand,” said Mrs. Vater. Mrs. Vater never gets too far from things with her home beyond the left field fence. She continues to design and build her own trophies for winning teams. All the work--she also operates a beauty parlor nearby--has probably kept her young, Mrs. Vater, 74 said. A lot of hits, runs and errors have been tallied at Vater’s since Victor Vater had the field built in 1948. “He had played baseball and managed a team that played at Moreland’s (near the present Campbell County Park). He got Fred Trapp (an excavator) and came up here and made a ball field,” Mrs. Vater said of the site eight miles south of Alexandria on U.S. 27. Lights and fences and other improvements have been added over the years, and 28 softball teams still do battle there now. That’s a sizeable reduction from the heyday of the recreation complex, though when there were softball leagues playing nearly every night, with baseball on the weekends. “It was the only place young people around here had to go for years,” she said. “I raised three generations of kids,” said Mrs. Vater. “They played Knothole, grew up and played softball. Then their kids played Knothole, and the whole thing was repeated again.” Visitation will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at St. Mary of the Assumption Churck, Alexandria, KY from 9:00-10:30 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial immediately following at 10:30 a.m. Private burial. Memorials suggested to St. Mary’s, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or West Liberty Christian Church tornado relief, P.O. Box 1. Arrangements entrusted to the Alexandria Funeral Home. Online condolences can be given at www.alexandriafh.com.