HORNELL - Mary Motts Wallace, 96, formerly of Grand Street, passed away Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020 at Updyke's Willow Ridge in Hornell.
She was born to Joseph and Mary Paraska Motts on Nov. 30, 1923. She always loved music, sang in her church choir, tap danced in many school plays, was a cheerleader, and enjoyed playing piano and accordion her entire life. She was awesome on that keyboard and nobody could play "The Beer Barrel Polka" like Mary! She was chosen Apple Blossom Queen in her junior year to represent Silver Springs High School in the annual Apple Blossom Festival in the Batavia parade on the Wyoming County float. She said this was the most exciting day of her school life.
Mary graduated from Silver Springs High School in 1942 and went to work in the Perry Knitting Mill as a sewing machine operator. She married the love of her life, Addison Clare Wallace, on June 21, 1944 during his first furlough from the US Air Force. They enjoyed 62 wonderful years together, until Addison's death in 2006.
Mary and her family moved from Castile to Hornell in 1956. She had always wanted to become a nurse and in 1964 enrolled in the area's first class for Licensed Practical Nurses, and proudly graduated in 1965, finally fulfilling her dream. She worked at St. James Mercy Hospital for 17 years, retiring in 1981. Mary always said that she enjoyed every day of it. She was a wonderful nurse.
She was a communicant of St. Ignatius Loyola, and later St. Ann's churches. Mary was a member of the Altar Rosary Society and the BOCES LPN Alumni Association. She always enjoyed playing pinochle and had quite the green thumb, nurturing her plants, and even giving them names. "Sarah" was started from a tiny grapefruit seed which is now over three feet tall. She spread kindness wherever she went. No one ever had an unkind word to say about her.
Mary and Addison had three children, Gary James (Karen Lenney) of South Colton, NY, Sandra Ann (John Benson) of Beaver Dams, NY, and Karen Lee, who died at birth in 1947. Granddaughters are Jamie Rackl (Christopher) of Buffalo and Dorian Lenney-Wallace of Ogdensburg, NY. She was predeceased by her brother, Louis Motts, of Grand Junction, Colorado and sister, Margaret Martin, of Warsaw, NY.
Burial will be at Grace Cemetery in Castile NY on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020 at 2 p.m. Donations in Mary's memory can be made to St. Ann's Church in Hornell. Her family would like to extend special appreciation and thanks to the staff at Updyke's Willow Ridge in Hornell.
Friends wishing to send a remembrance to the family, may visit www.brownandpowersfuneralhomes.com
or on Facebook@brownpowersfh. The family is being assisted by Gerald R. Brown, Director at Bender-Brown & Powers Funeral Home of Hornell.