Entrepreneurial Mary ran busy shop
MARY WHITE (née Davey) passed away peacefully at her home, in the loving care of her family, on Wednesday, August 9.
Born on November 9, 1945, to Mike and Frances Davey, she was the fourth of their five children and sister to Margie, Kitty, Dai and Michael.
Mary grew up on the family farm in Bannow. After leaving school she trained as a pastry chef and worked at the Tower Hotel in Waterford, a place where she made many lifelong friends.
Mary’s heart was stolen in 1967 at a dance in The Olympia Waterford on Easter Sunday night. Three years later, on July 30, 1970, she married her beloved husband Willie at Grantstown Priory. They began married life in St. Leonards, where she lived for the remainder of her life.
Mary was always entrepreneurial and in the early years of their marriage she used her pastry skills to sell homemade confectionary in the small shop she opened at her home.
1974 saw Willie and Mary move from their two bed cottage with their three small children Michael, Louise and Kathleen.
It was a short move to their new home, the old school in St. Leonards, only next door. The shop moved too and the additional space allowed for further expansion and offering a more extensive range of groceries, drapery etc.
Mary and Willie went on to have a further five children Annette, Frank, William, Margaret and Brendan.
In addition to running the shop, the successful team of Mary and Willie, ran a busy market garden, with Mary delivering to many businesses in Wexford during the Eighties and Nineties. Industrious and never one to stand still, she and Willie adapted to changing times and later years saw the nursery business develop as the shop closed and the market garden reduced.
Customers returned year after year to have their boxes and baskets planted by Mary, and Willie often felt people called for the chat as much as for the flowers.
Mary could turn her hand to anything, from running up a pair of curtains, upholstering a chair, or feeding an unannounced crowd. Her talents were endless and she inspired many to `give it a go’, showing her kind nature.
Hard work was something she was well used to, and the importance of which she instilled in her children. However, despite the workload Mary always had great time for people.
Her home was an open one, with the kettle rarely cool. She loved to cook and bake all of her life and the many visitors to her home over the years invariably left a little heavier than they arrived!
She loved children, and always welcomed the visits of her 13 grandchildren and her many grandnieces and grandnephews. Her toy press and goody box were always full - St. Leonards was a great place for a child to visit.
Mary always impressed the importance of education to her children. Both she and Willie worked hard to ensure each of their eight children had educational opportunities. Mary herself undertook further education later in life attaining a Certificate in Horticulture having successfully completed a three year part time course under the late Jim Kelleher.
Although living all her life in her native Wexford, Mary saw much of the world on the holidays she took with Willie. The pair travelled to many parts, including Canada, Australia, China, Cuba and South Africa.
Mary was very sociable and loved to be out and about chatting to people. This was evident in her regular attendance at card games and in more recent times bingo.
In previous years she was a regular supporter of Wexford Pony Club where she encouraged many of her children to develop their skills, in addition to ensuring no one was short of a cup of tea from her infamous flask. Known for her candid manner she will be fondly remembered as one of life’s great characters. Her energy and positive outlook were to be admired. Even in the latter days she fought hard and got on with life, adapting to her changing circumstances. Sitting back or retiring were not options for her and she continued to work hard preparing many of the flower orders earlier this year.
Mary is sadly missed by her loving family, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sistersin-law, relatives and friends.
The late Mary White.