Mary ANn Lindenberger
Memories of our Pistol Packing Momma!
By Denise Olczak
“Now that you have fitted both our sons with bows, I am looking for an archery instructor who might consider coming to our house to teach them proper archery skills. Do you know of anyone? We kind of live in the middle of nowhere just south of Waterford,” Denise said to the Dick's Sales Associate. “I’m an archery instructor and I also live in the middle of nowhere just south of Waterford” responded Mary Ann, the Dick’s Sales Associate.
And so began the relationship between the Olczaks and Mary Ann Lindenberger. Within a year Mystic Mountain Training Center was birthed with Mary Ann playing an active role for nearly 15 years. Her baby was shooting sports and with her relentless tenacity, NRA funds were secured to build our shooting range and classroom building. The program grew from air rifles into full classes using .22 rifles. Mary Ann inspired many of our adult male volunteers to become NRA certified shooting instructors. Without her, Mystic Mountain would not have been able to host classes in everything from church security to personal protection. Mary Ann believed in the mission of equipping teens to become America’s leaders both today and into their adulthood. For 15 years she sat on the Mystic Mountain Training Center board of directors, helping to guide the growth and development of the organization.
One of the funnier stories involving Mary Ann happened last summer. We were discussing camp security measures due to all of the crazy church shootings that have happened across the country. Mary Ann was struggling with leg strength and could barely walk. It was an extremely hot summer. Mary Ann, who had just turned 80, informed us that she had every intention of pulling up to our registration tent area and sitting in her air conditioned car. If she saw a problem, she’d just point her gun out the window and tell the intruder to drop his gun NOW or he'd be toast!
Jesus was her Lord and Savior and she wasn’t afraid to share the reason for her joy and hope with every teenager she met. We will deeply miss her, but we know that she is having a great big party dancing with Jesus in heaven right now! We just wonder if heaven is ready for her!!!