Mary Ellen Joyce Burton Romney Everson was born in Rochester, New York, on April 20, 1923, and passed from this world peacefully in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on July 13, 2018. Throughout her 95 years of many joys and some challenges, she never lost her enduring faith and supportive love of family, which would extend to four children, nine grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. At the same time, her warm intelligence and zest for learning and travel led to a lifelong circle of friends with many interests and backgrounds.
These friendships were fostered when she was a young girl attending Mount St. Mary’s School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, which she always remembered with fondness.
Her international perspective and sense of adventure was fueled in 1938, when she moved to Jamaica, B.W.I. to marry Frank O. Romney. There they had two children, Janice Jacqueline and Richard Bruce. Mary subsequently had to return to the US with their children for health reasons. Frank died in Jamaica in 1950, but Mary was deeply connected to his family and close friends and stayed in touch with many of them her entire life.
As a young widow with a need to support her children, Mary learned that she had the initiative and courage to be one of the few women hired in a mostly-male firm in New York City. Commuting to the firm from New Jersey on each working day, she rose to the position of Full Charge Bookkeeper, a title of which she was very proud. On an occasional Saturday she would take Janice and Richard on the train to Manhattan, take the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty or another sight, shop and perhaps get some ice cream. It was always an exciting excursion. Richard also remembers fondly her taking him to see Gene Autry perform in a cowboy rodeo at Madison Square Garden.
Mary left her firm when she married John Everson in 1952. They had two children, John Burton and Merrie Estelle.
She and her family lived in Glen Rock and then Ridgewood, New Jersey, until 1961, when they moved to Cedar Point in Mathews, Virginia, on the North River. Living at Cedar Point may have been the centerpiece of her life. It was an active one with horses, swimming, boating, numerous friends, with visits in the summer from children, grandchildren and dozens of other family members. There she enjoyed playing hymns and other songs on her organ at home, often having family members join in a boisterous sing-along.
Mary was a talented seamstress and knitter. She made beautiful smocked dresses for her daughters when they were young, and daughter Janice’s wedding dress, not to mention her own Mother-of-the-Bride dress and the ring pillow. She then sewed and knitted beautiful pieces of clothing for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Mary was a child of the Great Depression and missed out on college. Later in life she perhaps wanted to know what she might have accomplished had she been able to go to college. So she took a proctored exam to learn her IQ. It was high enough to qualify her for the esteemed Mensa Society, which she subsequently joined.
Mary and John liked to travel, and memorably cruised the South Seas for six weeks, traveled to Lake Louise and Banff in Canada, and toured Europe accompanied by children Johnny and Merrie.
The couple moved to Williamsburg in the 1980s. There Mary continued to sew, making finely detailed clothing for her special collection of dolls. She was also active in church matters, and joined the Order of the Daughters of the King. She often reflected on the goodness of the Lord to her in her life.
In the last decade of her life, she was blessed to live with her daughter Merrie, and visit frequently with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the area and across the country.
Mary, or Mimi as she was affectionately called by her family, leaves two sisters: Donna Gatto of Rhinebeck, New York, and Jane Wagner of Ballwin, Missouri. She also leaves daughter Janice (Bill) Stratton of Lawton, Oklahoma; son Richard (Lynthia) Romney of Chappaqua, New York; daughter Merrie Everson of Ruther Glen, Virginia, and son John (Kathy) Everson of Madison, Tennessee. She also leaves grandchildren Christine (Scott) Perkins of Durango, Colorado, Thomas (Toby) Soli of Ridgefield, Connecticut; Elizabeth (Sal) Macchio of Stratford, Connecticut; Jesse (Megan) White of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Theresa (Daniel) Joyce of Ruther Glen, Virginia; Bruce Romney of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania; Stephanie Romney of San Francisco, California; Alisa (John) Rodier of Washington, D.C., and Kristen Romney of Astoria, New York. She also leaves great grandchildren Christopher and Taylor Perkins of Austin, Texas, Sage (Alex) Bardani of Redding,Connecticut; Trey and Trevor Soli of Ridgefield, Connecticut; Athena, Sophie and Lennon White of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Benjamin and Christopher Romney of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and Ronan Romney of San Francisco, California.
A memorial service will be held on August 25, 2018 at 1 p.m. at Christ Church, Williams Wharf Road, Mathews, Va., 23109. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Church in Mary Everson’s name.