Mary E. Gurley Grisham, a native of Rome, NY, died peacefully on Saturday morning, May 19, 2012, in Annapolis, MD, with her beloved husband by her side.
She was born on April 25, 1923 and attended Holy Names Academy in Rome. In 1944 Mary enlisted in the Navy, joining the first class of "Navy Waves" in Washington, DC, where she served her country for almost 3 years. While there she wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor saying how proud she was to be serving the war effort. As a result, Eleanor invited her and several other Waves to Tea at the White House. On November 24, 1948, she married George R. Grisham, Sr., an Air Force pilot from Baldwyn, MS, who at the time was stationed in Rome. As an Air Force wife, Mary enjoyed living in England, Italy, California, and Rome, NY. After her husband retired they spent several years in New Bern, NC, then moved to Annapolis, MD, to be closer to her children. Of all the beautiful places life took her, Mary’s favorite was her hometown of Rome and she visited as often as she could.
Mary and her husband were members of the Griffiss AFB Military Affairs Committee and the Lake Delta Yacht Club of Rome. Mary loved to play golf and won several tournaments. If there’s a golf course in heaven I’m sure she’s already made a tee time! Her greatest love, of course, was her family. She was always there for her family and friends in times of joy and sorrow. Mary never met a dog or human she didn’t like¿and they all loved her. It was well known that Mary was a fantastic cook and Sunday night dinners were well attended. All were welcome at her table.
Mary was predeceased by her parents, Clarence E. Gurley and Virginia Erlum, both from Rome, NY, a sister, Margaret Gurley Fleet, a brother, Clarence (Bud) Gurley, a brother, Henry (Schube) Gurley, and a sister, Gina Gurley.
She is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Janet and Richard Nicolayson of Brewster, NY, a daughter, Marilyn Denton of Washington, DC, a son and daughter-in-law, George and Nancy Grisham, Jr., of Crownsville, MD, a daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Eric Ringdahl of Rome, NY, and a daughter, Peggy Abrahamson of Mount Joy, PA.
Funeral services are entrusted to the Barry Funeral Home, 807 W Chestnut Street. A mass of resurrection will be held Thursday, May 31, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church. Burial will be in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Rome Humane Society.
Please light a candle or offer online tributes at: www.BarryFuneralHome.com.