Mary Monty Manchester, 86, passed away on December 13, 2015 at Bethany Manor Nursing Home in Story City, IA, with her family at her side. Visitation will be Thursday, December 17th, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Boman Funeral Home in Webster City, IA (www.Bomanfh.com), with a memorial service to follow directly afterward, at 7:00 pm.
Mary was born in Buffalo, NY on August 31, 1929, the daughter of Katharine Judd Monty and Cecil Joseph Monty. Mary graduated from Altona Central School in Altona, NY in 1946. She received her B.S. in Education from Fordham University in New York City, and her M.A. in English from the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY.
After high school, Mary served for 19 years as a Catholic Sister of Mercy, before making the decision to leave the convent to help care for her mother. She married Wesley James Manchester, Sr. on July 29, 1967 in St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Tupper Lake, NY. They had one son, Wesley James Manchester, Jr., who currently resides in Blairsburg, IA.
Mary was a lifelong educator and a lifelong learner. She taught for 39 years on the Middle School, High School and Community College levels. She was always actively involved in mentoring youth, encouraging them to pursue their life’s goals and dreams. As a teacher, she was proud of developing an award winning student newspaper, and she loved to coach speech and debate. Mary retired from teaching in 1989 to care for her husband, Wes, who eventually passed away on January 27, 1990.
In Mary’s retirement years, she continued to invest in young people’s lives, serving with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). She served as District Chairman of the Charles E. Bedford District of the Adirondack Council of the BSA, and volunteered with Troop 911 while living in Evanston, WY.
Mary was also very civic minded. She took part in community planning activities in Saranac Lake, NY in the build up to the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, and with the Council for Evanston in Evanston, WY, in 1997, as part of the preparation of Evanston’s Master Plan 2010.
Later in life, Mary learned to use a computer to stay connected and to continue to learn. She loved to research and e-mail; she enjoyed Skype calls with friends and family, and even started a blog, “Letters from Iowa” at the age of 84. At the age of 81, Mary actively participated in an online course through Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry on “Encountering Jesus in the Scriptures.” This summed up well, two of Mary’s passions: a love for education, and a passionate commitment to her faith.
Mary loved to garden, tending to a large vegetable garden each year at her home in Saranac Lake, NY, and a flower garden at her home in Evanston, WY. But most of all, Mary loved her family - moving first to Evanston, WY and later to Webster City, IA to stay close to her son and grandchildren.
Mary is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Wesley James Manchester, Sr., and her brother Morton Joseph Monty. She dearly loved, and is survived by, her son Wesley James “Jim” Manchester of Blairsburg, her daughter-in-law Denise Fulin Manchester, her grandson Schuyler James, her granddaughter Elise Chamonix, her sister Julie Ann Forkey and many nieces and nephews.
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