Half Staff – Mary E. Bennett, 85

January 13, 2011
ROCKPORT — Mary Elizabeth (Rivers) Bennett, 85, of Rockport, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 at the Seacoast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Gloucester. She was the daughter of the late William I. Rivers and Eloise (Carle) Rivers.Born in Boston, she was raised in Quincy and spent summers in Cushing, Maine. She graduated from Thayer Academy and worked at the Shawmut Bank in Boston until becoming a fulltime wife and mother and bookkeeper for her husband John’s marine welding business.

When her girls were young, Mary was active in the Girl Scouts, Rockport PTA, and the Salvation Army. For many years she was the fulltime volunteer manager of the Calico Alley Thrift Shop of the North Shore Children’s Friend and Family Services. In more recent years, she was devoted to the Thacher’s Island Town Committee of which she and her husband were co-chairs for several years.

She and her husband enjoyed square dancing and were among the original members of the Gloucester Skippers Square Dance Club. They also enjoyed traveling throughout the country, including a 10-week camping trip around the United States when their children were young, and an especially memorable trip between Gloucester and Cleveland aboard the towboat Tioga where Mary was the volunteer cook.

She always enjoyed the winter and was an avid snowmobiler and member of the North Franklin Snowmobile Club in Phillips, Maine. She relished trips to the family camp in Madrid, Maine-despite the absence of running water-until declining health made travel impossible.

She is survived by John, her husband of 66 years; daughters, Linda Berard of Rockport and Alice Bennett of Hartland, Vt.; sister-in-law, Winifred (Bennett) Corniea of El Cerrito, Calif.; several first cousins and their families; and close family friend, J. Gregory Porter of Gloucester and West Glover, Vt.

ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service and scattering of her ashes off Thacher’s Island will be scheduled for the spring. Donations may be made in her memory to the Thacher’s Island Association, Box 73, Rockport, MA 01966. Arrangements are by the Burgess and Mackey Funeral Home, 201 Main Street, Rockport. Online condolences may be given at www.greelyfuneralhome.com.