Wendy Reily died peacefully on Oct. 15, 2017, in her beloved Martha’s Vineyard cottage, surrounded by her family and friends.
Wendy was born on July 10, 1936, in Havana, Cuba, and lived in Peru and Chile before moving to New Orleans in 1940. She attended McGehee School and Westover Academy, then Newcomb College, where she met her beloved husband of 58 years, William Boatner Reily III.
Wendy had a lifelong passion for horticulture. Her gardens on Prytania Street in New Orleans are listed on the Smithsonian Institution Archive of Garden Club of America Gardens. She and friends started Anything Grows and Plants Unlimited decorating shops in the ’70s and ’80s. She served as a trustee of Longue Vue House and Gardens, Louise S. McGehee School, and as a life trustee of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, where she started the Taste of the Vineyard in 1986.
She was a member of the New Orleans Town Gardeners, the Everglades Club, New Orleans Country Club, La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, Edgartown Yacht Club, Southern Yacht Club, the Boathouse, and Junior League of New Orleans. She performed for the Children’s Theater’s Taradiddle Players in the ’60s and ’70s. She was the Mystic Club Queen in 2005.
Wendy was known for her quick wit, sense of humor, and wonderful laugh. She was never at a loss for words. She was a New Englander; her Griswold ancestors were the first settlers of Connecticut, so she was happy to spend her last days on Martha’s Vineyard, looking out at her garden and the boats in Edgartown Harbor. To be able to stay until after Columbus Day weekend was her final joy.
She is survived by her two children, Elaine Reily and Bo Reily, her daughters-in-law Marilyn Stern and Caroline Reily, her grandsons Will Reily and Hugh Reily, and by her brother George Griswold and sister-in-law Mary Madison Griswold. She is preceded in death by her husband, parents Jack Griswold and Nina Griswold, and her grandson Jack Reily.
Graveside services will be held at the family plot in Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery in Louisiana on Friday, Oct. 27, at 12:30 pm.