Mary Amelia Massey DeLong was born on August 30, 1928 in Big Chimney, West Virginia. She peacefully died at her home on November 7, 2020. She lived a full life that included enjoying time with family and friends.
Mary attended college at Marshall University and left Huntington to pursue a modeling career in New York City. Mary was also a semi-finalist for the Miss Washington Beauty Pageant. In between modeling jobs, she worked as a "Hat Check Girl" at the famous Stork Club, where she had the opportunity to meet many celebrities and movie stars.
She moved back to Huntington to help her mom run a boarding house. It was there that she met her future husband, Richard Calvin DeLong. They were married in 1952 and had two children, Mary Melissa (Missy) and Richard Franklin.
They moved to Hometown, Pennsylvania in 1959 where Mary became involved in the local Garden Club. Mary spent practically her whole life working with the Garden Club; joining a new club each time she moved, holding various board positions including President, in Pennsylvania and Florida. In 2013, she was recognized by the Richmond Hill, GA Garden Club for her 50 years of service. Mary went on to be a flower show judge; and capped-off her experience by attending the Chelsea Flower Show in England.
Mary was an Antique Dealer and avid Tin Collector for many years. She also worked in fashion retail for 20 years, after raising her family.
Some of her other adventures include being a member of the Windlasses; an all-female sailing club in Clearwater, Florida. There she earned the title of "Alligator Mary"! Mary also enjoyed cooking, dancing, singing, and playing games; especially her favorite - Rummikub. Her love of classic motion pictures also made her a trivia sensation.
Mary traveled many different countries with "Adventure Women"; always making new friends along the way. One of her most-memorable trips was to the Holy Land, Jerusalem, in 1993.
Most of all, Mary loved people; and was known for her kindness and service to others. She is survived by her son, Rich DeLong (Jennifer) of Santa Rosa Beach, FL, three grandchildren, Jeff Zaruta of Pooler, Kaitlyn Brown (Wally) of Statesboro, and Sydney DeLong of Statesboro.
A "Celebration of Life" service will be held for Mary at the Richmond Hill Funeral Home, 8901 Ford Avenue, Richmond Hill, GA on Monday at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to the Richmond Hill Garden Club, PO Box 841, Richmond Hill, GA 31324.
Published in BryanCountyNews from Nov. 9 to Nov. 16, 2020.