Former Euless Mayor Mary Lib Saleh was recalled Friday as a strong leader and mentor.
Saleh, who served as mayor from 1993 to 2014, died Wednesday at 92. She brought numerous national awards to the growing community on the edge of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
“I literally loved her,” said Euless mayor Linda Martin, who replaced Saleh and described her as a treasured mentor and friend.
Martin said she had no intention to run for mayor, but Saleh kept encouraging her.
“She was a larger than life person. She was just so kind and even when she was giving you direction, she did so very graciously,” Martin said.
She described how everyone works together as a team in Euless in large part because of Saleh.
While raising her five children, Saleh was active in the PTA, and she served on numerous boards and committees at Ash Lane United Methodist Church where she ad her husband, Raymond, also taught Sunday school.
Saleh also served on numerous boards throughout Tarrant County, including chair of the Tarrant County Mayors Council, director of the Northeast Leadership Forum Mayors Roundtable, chair of the Harris Methodist Health System Board of Trustees, chair of Region 8 of the Texas Municipal League, and chair of the Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition Committee.
As mayor, Saleh garnered numerous national awards for Euless, including the Tree City USA Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation, the City Livability Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and recognition as the Best Small City in Texas to Raise Children by Business Week Magazine.
Saleh also wanted to see women involved with government. She formed Women in Government to provide educational opportunities for women elected in Tarrant County.
Saleh served seven terms as mayor after serving four years on the Euless City Council.
Hurst mayor Henry Wilson described Saleh as a leader who always stood up for people in Euless.
“She was a very fine leader, and she cared about her people,” Wilson said.
Wilson said Saleh was always supportive of the other cities in the H-E-B corridor, and Hurst and Euless work well together.
But he also joked about their high school football rivalry.
“She and I had one difference. When Trinity and Bell played, she always rooted for Trinity,” Wilson said.
Her son Randy described Saleh as a wonderful entertainer who loved hosting and going to parties with his father, who was an aircraft engineer. But she always put her family first.
“She was always volunteering, and taught us all about the importance of volunteering,” Randy Saleh said.
He described how his mother grew up in the Depression and raised her younger brothers and sisters when her mother had to work to support the family.
Saleh loved the outdoors and had a love for horticulture and ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging.
Her son said their backyard was always manicured with a coy pond and many flowers.
Saleh was born May 4, 1931, in Atlanta, and married her husband in 1952. He was an aircraft technician for the Vought Corporation, and transferred to Euless in 1964.
An open celebration of life memorial is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Mary Lib Saleh Euless Public Library, 201 N. Ector Drive.
Surviors include two daughters, Mrs. Pam Atchison (Bob) of Shreveport, and Mrs. Penny Stephenson (Craig) of Edmond, Oklahoma; and three sons, Ricky Saleh (Jina) of Corona, California, Rory Saleh (Karen) of Phoenix, and Randy Saleh (Carolina) of Bedford; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; a sister, Jaquelyn Eggerton of Orlando, and a brother, J.R. Roseberry of Tybee Island, Georgia.