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Read more about the life story of Mary and share your memory.
Mary Kelly Black, 85, of Seneca Falls, passed away on Thursday, July 13th, 2023 at the Living Center of Geneva - North. A visitation for Mary and her late friend and companion, John C. Stapleton, will be held on Sunday, August 27th from 1 - 3 PM at Doran Funeral Home, 4 East Bayard St., Seneca Falls. Immediately following the funeral home, a Celebration of Life will be held at The Party House, 67 Auburn Rd., Seneca Falls. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory may be made to Beverly Animal Shelter, 50 East River St., Waterloo, NY 13165.
Mary was born Mary Theresa Kelly in Brooklyn, NY, the daughter of the late Michael and Ellen (McDonnell) Kelly, émigrés from County Mayo, Republic of Ireland, and lived in Seneca Falls since 1974. She was cofounder, with the late Gladys Schultz, of the Seneca Humane Society, served as its President from 1992 to 2022; served as President, Local 3432, American Foundation of Government Employees (NY and NJ National Parks), from 2000-2008, and Executive Vice President, 2008-2012; and was employed by McGraw-Hill Book Co., the University of Illinois, Cayuga Lake State Park, and the National Park Service in a variety of positions ranging from custodial to management support; she also was self-employed as a writer/editor, and published three volumes of her writings, Lovely, Lonely Life: A Woman's Village Journal, Vols. I and II, in 2007; and Evening Twilight, Vol. III in 2012.
Survived by brothers, Daniel Smithtown of Long Island and Edward Kelly of Woodstock, VA, numerous nephews, nieces, and grand nephews and nieces, and close personal friend, Ulrike Cornelia Pohlig of Albany. Mary was predeceased by her parents; sisters, Helen Smith, Joan Quinn, Eileen Gardener; brothers, Joseph and John; close personal friends, John Carman Stapleton, Corinne Ann Guntzel, Raymond Poffenberger, and much-admired associate, Gladys Delelys Schultz.
Mary's parting thought: "Who would ever wish to make this journey again, all joy and pain, whether the latter less, former more. Once is enough, regretting not ourselves departing from this earth, but solely the planet in dishabille, which remains the prime, impersonal sorrow. Reading of this virginial continent and its devolution, as well its further almost preordained losses, is the sole, indelible sadness that long life has brought."