Maryellen (Hustad) Blount-Mefford, 92, formerly of Warren and Bristol, Rhode Island and Castro Valley, California, died Sunday, August 28, 2011 at the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence. She was the wife of the late Luther H. Blount (Warren Shipbuilder) and the late Harold M. Mefford. She is survived by her five children, Willis E. Blount and his wife Ruth of Nantucket, Marcia L. Blount and her husband Raymond P. Payson of Bristol, Joanne D. Dahmer and her husband Robert J. Dahmer of Tiverton, Nancy E. Blount and Julie E. Blount, both of Warren. She also leaves fourteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and her sponsored "daughter" from China, Dan Ling Fu.
Born in Newark, NJ, she grew up in Minneapolis, MN, attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics in 1941. She taught high school for two years in Minnesota and Connecticut before her marriage. She was instrumental in encouraging and assisting Luther in establishing his companies, especially Blount Boats shipyard (formerly Blount Marine Corporation) founded in 1949, and Blount Small Ship Adventures (formerly American Canadian Caribbean Line) in 1965.
Maryellen was active in many organizations, including Girl Scouts, 4-H Club, League of Women Voters, Audubon Society of RI, and Embroiderer's Guild of America. She earned a Master Gardener's Certificate from URI and was President of the Bristol Garden Club from 1987-1989 and President of the Rhode Island Federation of Garden Clubs from 1990-1991. She was also President of the Providence Handicraft Club and led many workshops. She studied Portuguese Rug making and taught the rug needlework throughout New England for the Embroiderer's Guild of America. She delighted in basket weaving, especially Nantucket Baskets. She sewed replicas of the original curtains for the main living room at the Blithewold Mansion. She also traveled extensively throughout the world visiting every continent.
Her children fondly remember her wonderful cooking. She made the wedding cakes for all of her children. Particularly treasured are the Scandinavian cookie recipes for sandbakels, berlinerkranser, spritz, krokonner, and Yulekage, the Christmas morning cardamom scented fruit bread. She asked her grandchildren to call her "Marnie" and that became her family name. Marnie was unusually even-tempered, cheerful, kind and generous to all.
All friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service celebrating her life which will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 1st at the First United Methodist Church, Warren. Burial in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence will follow. Her family encourages donations in Maryellen's memory to her favorite organizations: Blithewold Mansion & Gardens, 101 Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809 and the First United Methodist Church, 25 Church Street, Warren, RI 02885.
For online condolences, shared memories and information, visit www.wilbur-romano.com.