Mary Farley died at the Mashpee Health Care Center on March 2, after a brief illness. She was 68.
Mary was born at home in Somesville, Maine to Inez and Everett Gray, December 23rd, 1942. She was a fun-loving, gutsy kid, who was often seen wearing her cowboy hat and “six-shooters.” She raced bikes, climbed any tree, and had more than her share of skinned knees.
She had her daughters, Beth and Cherrie, at a young age, and raised them on Mt. Desert Island. She was a quick study, and learned many jobs, from making wreaths to running her own clothing store. She was good at anything she tried, and though not formally educated, her mind was active and sharp. She could sell you a dress, spin you around in a Boston Whaler, and beat you at poker.
In 1980, she left one island for another, moving to Martha’s Vineyard with the love of her life, Nelson Jones. Soon they found themselves on tiny Chappaquiddick Island, where Nelson was hired as the manager of Pimpneymouse Farm.
It was there that her pace settled, her mind eased. Farm life suited her. She tended the vegetable garden and grew spectacular cut flowers. She put up applesauce, canned vegetables, and baked to perfection. A generous person to the core, she always had bones for the dogs, cookies for the Fed Ex driver, and words of encouragement for her children and grandchildren. She knit many, many pairs of mittens and hats for the Red Stocking Fund for needy families, and baked for the Island’s ferry crew. Mary and Nelson shared a life perfect for them.
Mary was never happier than at Christmas, when the family gathered on the farm for days of fun and surprises. She decorated their home, the “Gardener’s Cottage,” from top to bottom, laid in everyone’s favorite food and drink, and bought loads of wonderful, personal gifts. The house was filled with games and smells of cooking, and the kitchen table next to the wood stove served as the site for the annual Chappy Christmas Cribbage Championship. Though ill, she was able with her family’s help to enjoy one last wondrous holiday.
Mary was predeceased by her brother, Gordon Gray, and sister, Betty Parsons. She is survived by her beloved Nelson, daughter Beth Herrick and her partner (and “third daughter”) Beth Pomroy, daughter Cherrie Herrick and her husband, Joe Spagnuolo, grandchildren Michelle Herrick and Nathan Herrick and his fiancé, Ashley Rundall, great-granddaughter Olivia, and special daughter Jennifer Jones, as well as several nieces and nephews. She will also be missed by her Pimpneymouse Farm family: Bob and Edo Potter and Kevin Keady.
No service is planned.