MARY DELANY

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  • "Some people have a great need to live forever...some will,..."
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  • "my sympathies Dana and famiy."
  • "So sorry for your loss, Dana, and your family's. Your Mom..."
    - A Fan of Dana's
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Obituary

DELANY--Mary Welles,

a successful interior designer and descendant of the founding fathers of Connecticut, died on February 27, 2016 in Stamford, CT. The cause of death was complications following surgery. Mary Delany, known to friends and family as Mamie, was born Mary Burnett Welles in Stratford, CT on December 15, 1927. Her beloved father, Charles Ralph Welles, was a gentleman farmer and worked for U.S. Steel. As a girl, Ms. Delany loved visiting his corner office in the Chrysler building to see the gargoyles outside his window. Her mother Helen, nee Graves, was also an interior designer. The Welles family history in America dates back to Thomas Welles who was the first Treasurer of the Colony of Connecticut in 1639 and subsequently the 17th and 20th Governor of the Colony of Connecticut. Another distinguished descendant, Gideon Welles, served as United States Secretary of the Navy under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson from 1861 to 1869. Ms. Delany was an avid sailor and grew up on boats on Long Island Sound. She sailed the entire eastern seaboard between Maine and the Caribbean. Her artistic accomplishments included cuisine, art and design. Many homes in Connecticut and New York bear her bold mix of playful color and humor. She is still remembered for the odalisque painting over the bar in Fat Tuesday restaurant in New Canaan, CT. After graduating Goucher College with a BA in fine arts, Ms. Delany moved to Manhattan where she worked as a designer at Norcross Greeting Cards. She was known for her sense of adventure and a distinguishing laugh. After marrying John J. Delany III, President of Coyne and Delany Company, the Connecticut suburbs and family beckoned. Following in her mother's tradition, she started Mary W. Delany Interiors and continued to work. Her daughter, Corey Delany who is also an interior designer, continues the family lineage. The eldest, Sean Delany is the Executive Director of Lawyers Alliance for New York. Her daughter Dana Delany is an actor. She was the proud mother-in-law of Barbara Finkelstein, and loving grandmother of Leah and William Delany. Ms. Delany's marriage ended in divorce. Her beloved companion of twenty-five years, Robert G. Davidson of Stamford, survives her. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Planned Parenthood, 123 William Street, NY, NY 10038 or www.plannedparenthood.org/donate.
Published in The New York Times on Mar. 2, 2016
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