Meet Mary: Outdoor Extraordinaire and Mover and Shaker


For our next Resident spotlight, we turn to Mary. Community Relations Manager Kate got to chat with Mary’s granddaughter, Ingrid, and her husband, Douglas, and two of Mary’s great grandchildren, Benjamin and Simon. Read on below about Mary’s love of animals and the outdoors.

Fast out of the Gate:

Ever since she was a young child, Mary’s been on the move. Her father, Anthony, was a truck driver and it became second nature for Mary and her two siblings to move frequently.  As such, “because she had done it, [moving] so much as a kid, it was a comfort to her.” Mary’s mother, Mary Jo, was a classic pianist and artist. Ingrid recalls that Mary always spoke very fondly of her. One of Mary’s favorite stories to tell about her mother was how her mom always preached the importance of a healthy breakfast, but one morning she and her siblings decided to walk to the corner store and consume all manners of candy and sweet treats much to their mothers' chagrin.


Moving Right Along:

Mary met her first husband, Alan, in high school and Ingrid described their relationship as very Romeo and Juliet-like. Alan worked as a civil engineer and sales representative, so Mary often hosted parties in their home for their business guests. Ingrid recalls that Mary had always been very social, enjoying participating in the country club or book clubs.

Alan and Mary had three children, Doug, David, and Ron. Mary raised her children from home primarily in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but she was always also interested in gaining more education. She got her undergraduate degree later in life and at one point was even in the same college class as her son, Doug. While she was primarily a homemaker, she did work outside the home as a substitute teacher and had her EMT license.

After their children had grown, Mary and Alan enjoyed lots of outdoor activities together including canoeing, cross country skiing, and hiking. During retirement, they lived on a ranch in Bend, Oregon which had horses, chickens, and cows. Alan tragically passed away white water rafting.

After Alan’s passing, Mary wed Alan’s brother, Richard, as Richard’s own wife had also recently passed. At that time, Rich was a Professor of Forestry in northern California. She and Rich spend their retirement years together enjoying the outdoors. Ingrid remarks that Mary “always felt really lucky she had two really phenomenal marriages…and some people don’t even get one.” She and Rich very much enjoyed their life together.



Keeping Up the Pace:

Besides her love of the outdoors, Mary had many other hobbies that she filled her days with. Mary enjoys quilting and knitting. An avid animal lover, Mary also has always adored cats, and Ingrid fondly reminisces that there were several times Mary missed family events in order to attend to the whims of her cats. She also loved caring for horses and was an accomplished horseback rider.

One “fad” that Mary was very passionate about was fitness and staying active. One of her favorite ways to stay fit was to play tennis. She also prided herself on how healthy she ate. Ingrid remembers one time she went to the mall with her mother and Mary and the three of them all indulged in a sweet treat. Ingrid laughed, “we heard about that brownie all day long.”


Lessons From the Fast Track:

As a final note, Kate asked Ingrid and her family if there are any life lessons or words of wisdom that Mary had imparted to them. For Ingrid, one thing she really valued discussing with Mary was the opportunities Ingrid has been given to be a part of the workforce. She and Mary would often discuss “the pros and cons” of their different experiences. Ingrid is very grateful she is “afforded that opportunity as it was not afforded to [Mary]”. For Doug, he always admired how Mary was “intrigued by different religions; she would meet with different pastors and attend their masses/services. She was always searching.”

Another important value from Mary was that she insisted on “the clean plate club” and to not complain about food. This led to the amusing memory of a time at Thanksgiving when Ingrid’s cousin Danny didn’t like Grandma Mary’s stuffing and thought he could get away with stuffing it down the dining room vent. Low and behold, they had to find the source of the smell the next day.

Thank you very much to Ingrid, Douglas, Simon and Benjamin for sharing their lovely memories about their grandmother and great grandmother. We are so glad Mary is a part of our Heathers family.


1 Comment

  1. Jeannie McCloskey on November 10, 2023 at 7:59 pm

    Mary is so smart. I noticed that observing some of the activities The Heathers has available. Nary is beautiful and smart and clever. Wish I knew her back then. I have met her being the spouse of another resident.

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