Mary Lucy Seymour
May 8, 1939- August 8 2013
Mary Lucy Seymour, the grandniece of Richard Henry Dana Jr and a graduate of Bentleys School of Accounting, died Thursday August 8, 2013, after a life long battle with respiratory ailments, complicated by Dementia Alzheimer's disease.
Mary was born May 8, 1939 in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston Massachusetts. The first of five children, she was a model of perseverance since birth, as her mother suffered three miscarriages during her early marriage, and Mary was the first of five children to survive.
Her father John Vincent Hanrahan of Boston, was descendant from Irish immigrants who came to Canada during the Potato Blight. He was a professional driver of Ambulances, Limousines and a good Humor man before retiring as a Postman for many years. (Find photo)
Her mother, Mary Dorothy Wharton of Boston, was descendant by her mother's family, of Richard Henry Dana Jr, Author of Two Years Before The Mast, who in turn is descendant of a family of authors and lawyers among the founding families of Boston and Harvard University. She is R H Dana Junior' s first cousin seven times removed.
Taught to read and write by age three by her mother, and taken to the best Public Libraries in Boston by her father, she was an avid reader by the time she was required to read the New Yorker in class at fourteen years of age.
She has read it every week since, for the next fifty years, finding the writers both calming and broadening.
Achieving top marks in her Stoughton High graduating class of 1956, she chose to attend the top school for Accounting in the US at the time: Bentleys in Boston.
Working days and taking classes at night, she achieved her AA degree and went on to work at State Street Bank of downtown Boston, choosing the night shift in order to provide care for her children during the day.
She was proud to have balanced every account, by hand in pencil, every night.
(She later regrets not following the advice of her French teacher for 4 years in HS, to attend Mac Gill University in Montreal where lessons were taught entirely in French in order to follow her dream to work at the United Nations.)
Mary was married to Kenneth Seymour for seven years, from 1959 to 1966, a graduate of Humanities and Science from MIT, SB class of1960, who made contributions to NASA's Apollo space Missions, as an early pioneer in Programming.
Ken was born in Hartford Connecticut. Ken's mother Jaclyn was from Amsterdam and his father Joseph became an entrepreneur and inventor. Highlights were: meeting in Junior High School,
early dates while still in college to the university library where they shared the discoveries of literature and news that were made at the time;
living in the Hamptons, attending the Newport Jazz festival and eating the best food in New York City via Limo.
They had a son, Kenneth Junior born in 1962, and a daughter Jaclyn born in 1964 while Kenneth was working for IBM in Poughkeepsie, both graduates of UC San Diego.
Full of pluck, her favorite car 'Betsy', was a new 1967 Plymouth Barracuda fastback muscle car that she drove for ten years. Her father a professional driver, was a nervous passenger when she brought it around to show him.
Finding the weather more moderate and the air easier to breathe, she loved being near trees, ponds and streams, in places such as: Boston Bay, Long Island Sound, Quincy Bay, Hampton Bays, Pacific Beach, Huntington Beach and
Lulled to sleep as an infant by her Uncle Arthur's saxophone, she has been a lover of all types of music. In her youth she would stop at country stores and pick up old vinyl records, specializing in straight ahead Jazz.
Up to the end, when nothing else seemed to interest her, if there was music nearby her fingers and toes would start tapping merrily.
Not wanting to endure another cold winter with chronic bronchitis, and ready for a fresh start, by winter of 1972 she headed for California leaving just as the snow was captured in the a newspaper photo,
falling on the Pandas from China at the National Zoo, headed south and then west, stopping in Virginia for peanuts, Texas for the Alamo and Arizona for the Pow Wow dancers, before ending in San Diego near the ocean again.
Dedicated mother, she would encourage us on our adventures and relish our reporting's on our returns home. With a combination of perseverance, dedication to her family quiet sophistication and privately rebellious Mary was a remarkable woman.
Mary was a resident of Alameda Care Center in Burbank for eight years where she was well regarded by residents and Nursing staff alike, and passed gently and with dignity in loving hands, at Providence St Joseph's Hospital of Burbank.
She is survived by her sister Harriet, and brothers John and James, her son Kenneth, Daughter Jaclyn and Granddaughter Emma Nellie.