TUPPER LAKE - Mary Wilkinson passed away peacefully at her home on 6 Church St. in Tupper Lake on the morning of Oct. 19, 2012. She was well over 108 years old.
She was born Jan. 30, 1904, to her parents George and Mary Wilkinson, 13 Norton St., County of Bootle, Liverpool, West Derby District of England. Her father was a ship rigger. She attended school at the Bury Royal Infirmary and in 1927 became a registered nurse, specializing in psychiatric nursing. She worked for the next 17 years in private institutions as a psychiatric nurse and as a general duty nurse on medical and surgical floors.
She joined the United States Army on May 31, 1944, at the age of 36, and was stationed in France with the 177th General Hospital. She was in charge of the medical ward for most of her time on active duty. She left the active duty military in on Feb. 19, 1946, having obtained the rank of first lieutenant and was a decorated World War II veteran, having received the European Theatre Ribbon, World War II Victory Medal and the Meritorious Service Unit award.
Mary separated from service and was living in Brooklyn. She took a job with the United States Veteran's Hospital here in Tupper Lake, now known as Sunmount DDSO, and continued caring for soldiers and sailors as she had done on active duty. Her friends here included the late Mary Mecurio with whom she travelled to Australia, and John and Veronica Blanton. She was a devoted parishioner of St. Thomas Church and was dearly loved by her family and friends. She will be greatly missed.
In her last years of life she was cared for by Shelly Brown and Geraldine LaFountain, who followed in her footsteps of caring for others. Shelly and Gerri, along with others who touched her life and helped her, were unfailingly thanked by Mary. Mary was from a generation that gave without need for thanks, worked to better her community and her adopted country and was decidedly independent without need of help until her last few years. She is an example for all of us to follow and she is surely in heaven now, having earned eternal rest and peace.
Calling hours are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Stuart-Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Tupper Lake. A funeral service will follow at 1 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.