her obituary described her through her relationships with others… daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, community volunteer… i’ve read a lot of obituaries (and have written a few) and what strikes me is how often people are described by what they did rather than who they were. mary’s was spot on about who she was.
she was a kind of a dying breed, a woman who could be defined by her presence in almost every aspect of family and the community around her.
mary was a woman who knew how to nurture relationships, not for the purpose of personal or monetary gain, but because for her, that was the essence of life. she was not a saint, nor was she a martyr. she was a delightful person. she was outspoken. she was the soul of our community.
hundreds showed up to pay their respects (and maybe just to have one more moment with her).
martha stewart once said that her mission was to “elevate the role of the homemaker”. and (regardless of how you feel about her perfectionism), she certainly taught people that knowing something about architecture and history helped with decorating, and that learning botany made for better gardening , that classical technique was the basis of great cooking and that cleaning and organizing also meant preservation. in short, reviving the old adage that, ‘anything worth doing is worth doing well’.
mary did life and relationships very well. she elevated the roles of daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, employee, community member and volunteer and now leaves us now with very big shoes to fill.