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Mary Kirkpatrick

1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Mary Kirkpatrick Obituary
Mary A.


1925-2016 BENNINGTON Mary Allison Beattie Kirkpatrick, age 91, a resident of 6 Garbrooke Drive, Bennington died peacefully on August 28, 2016 at her home surrounded by people who loved her. She was born on January 2, 1925 in North Adams, MA, to W. Roy Beattie and J. Bessie (Lent) Beattie. She attended North Adams schools, graduating from Drury High School in 1942. After high school Mary attended Keuka College (NY). In 1944 she married Ray B. Kirkpatrick, and after his return from World War II in 1946, they lived in Williamstown MA so Ray could finish his undergraduate degree at Williams College. They later moved to Ann Arbor, MI where Ray pursued an Engineering degree with Mary's support. The couple then moved to Pittsfield, Massachusetts where Ray went into business with his father, and he and Mary raised three children, Suzanne, Kevin, and Bowden. Mary was a caring and devoted mother, helping her kids to be curious and creative learners. She taught her children and others around her by example to accept people who were different from them, to try to be fair, to give of themselves, and to be truthful and trustworthy. Early in her adult life Mary began a lifelong commitment to community service activities. One of the most prominent of these early commitments was service on the Pittsfield School Committee, 1959-62. Also important during those years and for many years that followed were her support and leadership in The League of Women Voters. Over the next years Mary supported Ray in his job related moves as a mechanical engineer with General Electric and other companies, moves that took them far from New England to such places as Oklahoma City and St. Louis. During their retirement, Ray and Mary moved to back to New England, to Bennington in 1989, mostly to be near their grandchildren, Linn, Sam, Erin, and Kelly, but also to be near other family members. Their first project was to have the outside shell of a home erected, and then they worked together for a year on finishing their home. Mary gave up her volunteer activities to concentrate on such things as insulating their new home. Their aim was to be near their grandchildren and give them the loving support they had given to their children. While in Bennington, Mary continued to volunteer for organizations like The League of Women Voters and AAUW. She gave many hours to PAVE where she was a volunteer on the hotline, a court advocate, and a member of the board. She also worked with Second Chance Animal Shelter, first as a foster parent for many dogs and cats, and later as the lead person in their spay/neuter program. She also worked with the Bennington Town Democrats, and as a docent for the Better Bennington Corporation, guiding tourists to sights, restaurants, and activities. Mary's life was full and complete. She leaves her daughter Suzanne (Ronald Ratliff) of Bennington, her sons Kevin (Karen) of Burlington, and Bo (Jamie Ryan) of Bennington, her four grandchildren, Sam, Linn, Erin and Kelly, several step grandchildren and their families, her cousin, two nephews and five nieces. She also leaves many good friends, especially Lea Newman and Dora Polatsek. Together the three were The Golden Girls. She was predeceased by her husband, Ray, in 2012 and by her two brothers, William Beattie and Thomas Beattie. A memorial service to celebrate Mary's life will be held October 10, 2016 at 11:00 A.M., at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House. Memorial contributions may be made to PAVE (701 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201) or Second Chance Animal Center (PO Box 620, Shaftsbury, Vermont 05262). Guestbook condolences may be made at www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net
Published in Bennington Banner on Aug. 31, 2016
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