Mary Pease -- Rochester

December 28, 2018

Mary (Garnet) Shepherd Pease was born June 6, 1925, in Detroit, to her medical (Dr. Clara) and Christian (Rev. George) missionary parents. She passed away Dec 19, 2018, of natural causes. Her large extended family celebrates the life of their mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt.

Known by her internet moniker, “merrysunshine,” she was a friend to all and a reliable active supporter of the communities in which she lived. She moved to China in the first few months of age, sometimes boarding in New Zealand and Australia, as her parents continued their callings. As a young school girl, Mary and her family were chased out of China by the Japanese, taking refuge in Newton, Mass., where she graduated high school.

Mary briefly attended Colby College in Maine, where she met her future husband, (George) Readington Pease, of Burlington Vt., then serving in the Army Air Corps. She soon transferred to the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a BA in sociology at the close of WWII.

Wanting a “home town,” Mary married her Vermonter, who instead of returning to Burlington as anticipated, promptly started on a lifetime government foreign-service career taking them to Germany, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. They retired in Brazil, moving late in life to Pompano Beach, Fla., to reunite with their siblings, Birney Pease and Delia (Shepherd).

Upon Readington’s death in 2013, Mary moved close to family at the Charter House in Rochester. There, she was a magnet, attracting family from all over the world who made pilgrimages to the seat of Mayo Clinic to visit their matriarch. She often remarked how blessed she felt to have such a loving family and to have found a home among the residents and wonderful staff at Charter House.

Mary loved and was loved by her surviving brother, George Shepherd, Santa Fe, N.M.; all five of her married children, Steven (Dri), Mark (Kathy), Larry (Gail), Jennifer (Gene) Nesbeda, and Elizabeth “Buffy” (Rich) Simms; 19 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren; as well as 17 nieces and nephews and all of their children.

She was preceded in death by two sisters, Glee and Delia; and two infant brothers, Harold and Henry.

She was a remarkable woman who shaped our lives.

A memorial service at Charter House in Rochester and interment in the family plot with her husband in South Dennis, Mass., will be at a later date.

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