Mary E. Travers (née Holihan), age 92, passed away peacefully at her home in Southold, N.Y., July 7, 2019, after a courageous and dignified battle against Alzheimer’s disease.Mary was born March 24, 1927, in Manhattan, N.Y.
She was predeceased by her parents, Sophia and Edward Holihan; her husband, James F. Travers; her sister, Joan Wiehl; and her son James D. Travers. She is survived by her brothers, Brian Holihan (Suzanne) and Brendan Holihan (Kathleen); in-laws Elena Travers Hancock and Thomas Wiehl Jr.; her daughter and longtime caregiver, Kathleen, and daughters Barbara (Paul) and Janet; her son Robert (Kristie ); and many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She attended The Montessori School in Brooklyn, Bishop McDonnell High School and St. Joseph’s College for Women, then completed graduate studies at Columbia University and went on to teach at Manual Training High School in Brooklyn.
Mary married James F. Travers in 1951 and together they raised five children. She was involved in numerous volunteer organizations, notably her active participation in the American Association of University Women, serving two terms as president of the Garden City branch.
Mary spent eight years as a volunteer docent at La Falaise, the Guggenheim estate in Sands Point, and most recently was a docent for Southold Historical Society’s Horton Point Lighthouse in Southold. For 22 years, she enjoyed spending her Sundays taking visitors on lighthouse tours.
Mary led a life full of knowledge quests, fun and adventure. She devoured books and had an insatiable appreciation for the arts and travel. She loved to play piano, dance, cook, garden, sail, entertain and could polish off a New York Times crossword puzzle in a heartbeat. In her earlier days, she was an accomplished skier and equestrian. During graduate school, she worked at the Claremont Riding Academy leading trail rides through Central Park. She loved flowers and animals, especially roses and dogs.
Always active, she played tennis and golf and swam in Southold Bay almost daily from spring through the fall. Mary lit up every room with her quick wit and vivacious personality. She brightened every life she entered. Her elegant style and infectious laugh were among her many distinctive hallmarks. She was very special and will be greatly missed.
A funeral Mass took place July 11 at St. Patrick R.C. Church in Southold. DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home assisted the family.
Memorials in Mary’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org.
This is a paid notice.