When Mary A. Boltz met her future husband on a blind date at a USO event on Long Island in the 1940s, he had no idea of the difference in their height. He was 6-foot-2, she was 5-foot-5. But the platform shoes she usually wore made her seem much taller, recalled her daughter, Beverly Boltz.
It was not until after their marriage in 1948 that William Boltz - somewhat amusingly - realized the disparity, Beverly Boltz said.
Mary Boltz, 86, died Sept. 14 in her sleep at her home in Rockville Centre. During that marriage, however, Boltz was a one-woman dynamo, raising three children and becoming a trailblazer as she dove into business and community affairs in a way few women of her era did, her daughter said.
"At that time she was a visionary," Beverly Boltz said. "I look back at her accomplishments - it just amazes me."
Boltz was the first woman admitted to the Inwood Civic and Businessmen's Association, where she served as secretary from 1952 to 1964, president from 1965 to 1966, and chairman of the board from 1967 to 1968.
As a successful businesswoman, she founded and managed both Coastline International Distributors, an aerospace supply company based in Lindenhurst, and the Air Ship N' Shore Travel Agency, originally based in Cedarhurst. Even up until her death she remained involved in the travel agency, her daughter said.
Boltz was born in Inwood, graduated from Lawrence High School and went to work for the CBS Publicity Department from 1943 to 1948. Her daughter said part of her job included interviewing celebrities, such as TV personality Arthur Godfrey, and writing about them.
She later served as president of the Lawrence Public School No. 2 PTA, created a scholarship program for students in the Five Towns area, and worked with a wide range of other organizations. She received many local honors, such as the Nassau Herald newspaper award for Woman of the Year. She was also instrumental in helping to bring together the Italian-Albanian community in the Five Towns area.
Besides her daughter Beverly, of Florida, she is survived by daughters Valerie Boltz Austin, of Maine, and Cindy Boltz O'Rourke, of Rockville Centre; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband.
A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Sept. 18 at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre.