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401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Family, art, music, purpose

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Photos courtesy Dr. Mary and Craig Hammes This family finds music a very essential part of their lives. Left to right, Craig Hammes, Nikaila, Stephanie, Dr. Mary Kleinsorge at Christmas.

With a life filled with family, a chiropractic practice, music, sculpture, Dr. Mary Kleinsorge -- known to most people as Dr. Mary -- says purpose is of primary importance.

"My purpose is to make a difference, care for people, plant seeds, spark passion and inspire other people. I am always torn between the work in my office, adopting babies from China, playing music and creating art work.

"I see a purpose in most steps I take, even if they are little bitty steps, and it gives me a much happier reason for being," Dr. Mary said.

Dr. Mary adopted her two daughters from China, Nikalia in 1998 and Stephanie in 2002.

She and Dr. Craig Hammes were married in 2002, the ceremony performed by Rev. Bill Forbes of Delta Presbyterian Church, in Carbo St. Lucas, Mexico.

Craig is now retired as a radiologist, but is involved in many activities, including photography, music, engineering and farming, as well as a life-long learner, and geek.

Nikaila is now 22 and a massage therapist in the Kansas City area. After graduating from Delta High School, Nikaila spent one year at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs and took massage courses at the Technical College of the Rockies in Delta.

Stephanie is a senior at Delta High School and has been in the honor choir since she was in the eighth grade. She will enroll at Colorado Mesa College in the fall in choral studies.

Dr. Mary was a professional musician for eight years. Her agent would book her for four hours a night, six nights a week, and he moved her every five weeks.

She met musician Sonny James who took her to Nashville.

She developed asthma and was using an inhaler between songs. A group of chiropractic professionals came to all her performances. One noticed the inhaler and that she was coughing a lot. He suggested Mary see one of the chiropractic doctors. She did, and six months later she was off all her medications.

Mary decided she wanted to go back to school, to college. She took several aptitude tests and health care came up in all, with chiropractic "off the charts."

"I had been praying for direction," Mary said, "and within a week I knew that was what I was meant to do."

Mary was born and reared in eastern Kansas on a cattle farm. She lived in a very small community and felt at home there. When she had completed her medical training and was ready to establish her practice, she looked for an area with similar demographics that needed a chiropractic practice.

She did her research on communities with the demographics she wanted, and contacted chambers of commerce in 15 communities. Delta was one of three that called her back.

Dr. Mary came to Delta and set up her first practice in the back of the Methodist parsonage. Five years later she bought the property behind Ruby's Florist for her practice. Her next office was across the street from her home on Hillcrest.

The house on Hillcrest became too small for the family and the interests of all four members. She and Craig bought their current house on 1650 Road, built onto the house and built Dr. Mary's chiropractic office on the property. The family has been there about 13 years, she said.

Music and performances are high on the priority list of this family.

Craig plays base. Dr. Mary plays guitar, acoustical guitar, ukulele, five-string banjo, viola, violin and piano. Stephanie plays trumpet, piano, drums set, guitar and ukulele.

The family plays at Pea Green, has played in summer concerts at Glenwood, Delta and the Chapel of the Cross in Cedaredge. They play a concert at a Ridgway church which has an ice cream social after the concert.

The family has played at Redstone for an entire service -- 50 minutes of music; at the Methodist Church in Cedaredge, playing special music and leading the music there; and at Eckert Presbyterian Church in the summer as special music.

Dr. Mary and Stephanie played in Ireland in 2018, performing in nursing homes, which was very rewarding. Dr. Mary played in pubs.

She says, "We compose and play all sorts of music, the purpose being to inspire, bring back memories, help people head in a more positive direction."

The family owns a home and a chiropractic office in Los Barriles, Mexico. They go there in October through April. Dr. Mary sees patients and they all play music.

Dr. Mary will be performing a concert at Colorado Mesa University on April 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, Room 128. The concert is entitled "Reluctant Farewell to a Dear Heart."

That Dear Heart is guitarist James Smith, who lived in Delta. She met him at a master's class at Mesa State University when she had resumed her study of classical guitar.

She says, "He was understanding and accepting of the holes in my education. He joyfully took me from where I was to a next level and more. When he learned that I had written and was playing a handful of my own classical pieces, he was very firm in his insistence that I write them down."

All the compositions she will play at the concert are composed by Mary Kleinsorge, with the exception of O Fernando, where the beginning and end were taken from Fernando Sor's Little Study in A Minor.

The cover art and design of the handsome program are by Craig Hammes at GeekAmI.com.

Dr. Mary helps young fiddlers get ready for the fiddle contest at the Montrose County Fair. She coaches them and accompanies them during their performance.

She finds her chiropractic practice so rewarding. She sees a few patients that she saw in the first month of her practice 32 years ago.

"The practice of chiropractic is so meaningful, it's wonderful to love and encourage caring people. It takes six to eight years to become a chiropractic caregiver. If there is any young person who is considering this career, I welcome that person to shadow me in my chiropractic practice," Dr. Mary said. Her phone number is 874-4547.

Dr. Mary and Craig sponsor an annual Memorial Day Music Event honoring veterans. This includes four and one-half hours of open mike for ministers, jokes, music, speakers, and MUSIC -- bluegrass, jazz, classical, and for all ages. Those attending come from other states, other countries. Some are former patients.

There is plenty of good food available also.

"We are able to have fun and restore our innocence," Dr. Mary said. Any veterans interested in coming are invited to call Dr. Mary, 874-4547.

Photo by Annette Brand Dr. Mary enjoys creating sculptures. She is shown here with “Anabelle’s Harvest.”
Dr. Mary performing with her guitar.
Another of Dr. Mary’s sculptures, entitled “Ultimate Comfort,” inspired by “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” God speaking in Isaiah 66:13.
When Dr. Mary’s late mother was ill, Mary wore one of her mother’s hats when she visited her in the care center, thinking that would help her mother recognize Mary. Mary found she liked hats and began wearing them all the time. Other people began to give her hats. Dr. Mary with her collection shown here in her “hat room.”
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