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Mary Erety Elmer Vassel

Obituary Condolences

Mary Erety Elmer Vassel 1908 ~ 2005 Erety Elmer Vassel was born June 16, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York, and died April 1, 2005 in Edmund, Oklahoma from causes incident to age. She was 96 years 9 months and 15 days old at the time of her passing. Mary joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She was an active, contributing member thereafter, with many church callings. Mary was the second child of Dr. S. Lewis Elmer and Helen Shoemaker Elmer. Her family spent their winters in Brooklyn, NY and summers on the island of Martha's Vineyard, MA at the family home in Oak Bluffs. She graduated from Smith College in 1932 in French and Music, and from the New York School of Social Work in 1934. Mary worked in a settlement house in New York City directing operettas and later taught French and music at Miss Day's School for Fine Ladies in New Haven, Connecticut. There she met Bruno Vassel who was a student at Yale University. They were married upon his graduation in 1936. The newlyweds then went to Ann Arbor, Michigan where Bruno obtained his PhD in biochemistry. Bruno and Mary subsequently lived in Stamford, Connecticut, Fargo, North Dakota, Toledo, Ohio, Deerfield, Illinois, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Punta Gorda and Fort Myers, Florida, and Sandy Utah. Mary spent the last six years of her life with her daughter, Elisabeth and family in Edmund, Oklahoma. They loved to travel, and went around the world twice, as well as taking many other shorter trips. Mary spoke English, French, German, and Portuguese, and studied Latin for eight years. Mary enjoyed singing and directed many choirs, performing beautiful solos with her lovely, lilting soprano voice. She loved to act and she and Bruno were members of The Stagers in Deerfield, Illinois. She had a gift for leadership and compassion for others. As president of the Large Women's Club in Sao Paulo, Brazil she directed the establishment of "A Casinha" - a settlement house for the poor of the city. She was truly an elect, gentle lady. Mary was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 56 years, Dr. Bruno Vassel II; her father and mother; her grandparents, Newton Elmer, Lucia Rowe Richmond Elmer, Horace Brewster Shoemaker, and Mary Erety Shoemaker; her sisters, Lucia Mary Elmer Johnson and Helen Elizabeth Elmer Jackson; her brothers, S. Lewis Elmer Jr. and Horace Newton Elmer; and grandson, Stephen Davis Hill. She is survived by her three children, Mary Erety Vassel Hill of Syracuse, Utah, Bruno Vassel III and wife, Carolyn Kay Edwards of Sandy, Utah; and Elisabeth Helen Vassel Andersen and husband, Darian Bruce Andersen of Edmond, Oklahoma; 21 grandchildren; and 45 great-grandchildren. Funeral services Thursday, April 7th, 12 noon, at the Northridge LDS Ward, 11200 South Wasatch Boulevard in Sandy. Family and friends may call at the Larkin Sunset Gardens Mortuary, 1950 East 10600 South also in Sandy, Wednesday evening from 6-8 p.m. and at the ward Thursday one hour prior to the services. Interment, Larkin Sunset Gardens.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Apr. 4, 2005
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