November 11, 1932 - December 15, 2018
Mary Kerley, age 86, passed away on December 15, 2018, in Delray Beach, Florida, after a brief battle with lung cancer. For many years, Mary had spent her summers at her home in Roque Bluffs, Maine and wintered at her home in Homestead, Florida.
Mary was born on November 11, 1932 in Albany, New York, the youngest of six children born to immigrant parents Antony and Athena Pantas.
Mary gave birth to four children of her own. Eric was born in 1952, product of an early marriage to James Schmitt. Mary and James were members of the Houston Symphony; Mary a violinist and James played the horn. The marriage ended in divorce in 1956. About two years later Mary met an Air Traffic Controller names David Kerley, and after a two-week courtship they were married on July 6, 1958.
Eric was adopted by David (who soon returned to the USAF, from which he would eventually retire as a Major) and the Kerley family grew with the births of Kermit in 1960, Hope in 1963, and Brendan in 1967. Kermit passed on December 25, 2008 with both his wife and his mother by his side, not long after the same diagnosis that would be given to his mother a decade later.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, David Kerley, her second son, Kermit, and her siblings Christopher Pantas, Alice Prest and Anawanda McCrory. She is survived by her children, Eric, Hope, and Brendan, and the widow of son Kermit, Maria Kerley; her grandchildren Jeremy and Sarah Kerley (Eric’s children), Nicola Kerley (daughter of Kermit and Maria), and Cedric Kerley (the son of Brendan). Mary’s great-grandchild, Samantha Kerley is the daughter of Jeremy Kerley. Mary’s surviving siblings are Helen Hawkins, Mary Pantas (Christopher’s widow), and Georgia Neydorff.
Mary was an avid gardener and a lover of classical music and the outdoors, spending many hours
kayaking and canoeing in both Maine and Florida. She made frequent donations to the Maine State Parks, Maine Public Radio and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
A memorial service and interment of Mary’s ashes is scheduled for 2:00 pm on July 19th in Augusta at the Maine Veteran’s Cemetery, 281 Civic Center Drive, Augusta, Maine 04330. Mary’s ashes will rest next to David’s in section P, row 30, site 42.