Mary Carroll Willers, a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away peacefully at her home in Kidders, New York on Sunday, May 18, 2014 with her family by her side. She was 96.
There will be a funeral mass to celebrate Mary's life at 11 AM, on Friday, May 30 at the St Francis Solanus Catholic Church in Interlaken, NY.  A reception will follow at the church.  Burial will be alongside her late husband, Diedrich K Willers, in Lakeview Cemetery, Interlaken, NY.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be sent to the Interlaken Historical Society PO Box 270, Interlaken NY  14847, one of Mary's great interests..
Mary was born on September 17, 1917 at Hayts Corners, New York to builder and farmer Joseph Carroll and his wife Sarah Hannah Lane. Sadly, her mother died during childbirth and Mary was later adopted and raised by her father's sister, the late Esther Carroll of Ovid, New York. By a sad quirk of fate, Ms Carroll - her second mother - also died on Mary's birthday in 1984.

A graduate of Rochester Business Institute, Mary's first job was at Keller's, a prominent flower shop in Rochester, NY, then later she worked in the Personnel Department of General Motors, Rochester during the early war years.

She married the late Diedrich K. Willers after a year-long courtship (and 6 proposals she always told her kids) on April 6, 1942 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Ovid. The couple started married life in New Haven, Conn where her husband was in charge of the Personnel Department of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, as it geared up for war production.
Life was rich and productive for the Willers family in New Haven and three children were born - Carol, Margaret and Diedrich III.

The young family then moved to Weymouth, Mass for a year before eventually moving back to Kidders for good in 1951 to live in what had been the Willers' family summer home on the shores of Cayuga Lake.

While her husband Diedrich, a Cornellian, administered the University's Personnel Department, Mary went to work for Interlaken Central School.  First as the Treasurer of the School Board, and later as the Manager of all Food Services for the South Seneca School District.
Mary is survived by her three children - Carol R.W. White of Bainbridge Island, Washington, Margaret E. Willers of Los Angeles, CA and son Diedrich K. Willers of Kidders, NY and their spouses Horace A. White, Robert L. Smith and Barbara D. Willers

She also had five grandchildren - Calvin Rockwell White of Seattle, Washington; Abigail White Ruscetta of Tampa, Florida; Katharine Willers Fullerty of Alexandria, Virginia; Diedrich D Willers of Syracuse, NY and Patrick Willers, currently serving in Peru with the Peace Corps.
There are also six great-grandchildren -  Madison, Mackenzie and Emily White;  Justin and Christopher Ruscetta and little Henry Fullerty who was born only weeks before Mary died.
Apart from being a busy working mom and wife, Mary always found time for friends and to help in community projects. She was a leader in the local Girl Scouts for over 30 years; and an avid amateur historian being a past President of the Interlaken Historical Society as well as being a member of the Seneca and Lodi Historical Societies for many years.

Mary loved to knit and she made colorful blankets for all the members of her family. She was an enthusiastic supporter of Sapsucker Woods and took great delight every morning watching the various colorful species of birds that flocked to the feeders in her garden.

When it came to cards, Mary played a mean hand at Bridge with the Interlaken Bridge Club and enjoyed a good game of Eucre playing in the local Eucre League at O’Malley’s.  She also participated in the Green Thumb Garden Club, and greatly enjoyed the programs, but was not a gardener herself.

She was fascinated with British Royal Family which started when she was in High School in the 1930s during the Abdication crisis involving Edward VIII, later the Duke of Windsor. She followed the Royal antics over the years with great interest through Tabloids and the columns of Majesty magazine, a British magazine she subscribed to, and a 'must read' every month for Mary.

A keen traveller, Mary joined her husband Died, along with the late astro-physicists, Frank Drake and Carl Sagan, in travelling to the space telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, each Winter, which Cornell University administered.  After Died’s death, Mary spent each February visiting her sister-in-law, Sally Mabie, in Georgia.

Apart from numerous flying and car trips around the country to see her grandchildren and family, Mary also visited Ireland to check up on her Irish ancestors. Then there was a trip down the Mississippi to New Orleans aboard the riverboat, the American Queen, and another to Alaska with her daughter, Carol.   Another year, she and her husband and some friends, Earl and Helen Pell, visited London to see daughter Margaret then toured England and Scotland by car. Highlight of the trip was a visit to Moscow and St Petersburg and a ride aboard the famous train, the Red Express.

For the last three years of her life, Mary was cared for at home in Kidders.  The family would like to extend special thanks to her caregivers who provided never-ending love, care, expertise, and advocacy that gave such meaningful support during the last phase of Mary’s life: Sandi, Deb, Sharon, Cathy, Sharon T, Meghan, MacKenzie, and Erica.  Finally, the family would like to thank Lifetime Care, Seneca County Hospice, for their thoughtful care and attention.