WESTFIELD - Mary Elizabeth (Torrence) Rideout, age 80, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday morning, July 24, 2012.
She was born in Elmira, N.Y., the daughter of the late Clarence and Mary (Williams) Torrence on Oct. 22, 1931.
Mary graduated Williamsville High School while she lived at the Methodist Home for Children. She graduated from Genesee Junior College and a few weeks later married H. Earle Rideout on June 9, 1951. After his graduation from Alfred University, they moved to Ripley, N.Y., where he took a teaching position. With the help of the Westfield Rotary Club, she earned her degree at SUNY Fredonia in elementary education in 1964 and taught first and second grade at Westfield Academy and Central School until her retirement in 1986.
Mary Elizabeth (Torrence) Rideout
For several years, she worked summers at Chautauqua Institution. One summer she was the dorm counselor in Alumni Hall where she protected the students from Chautauqua's bat population. Other summers she was the hostess at the Chautauqua Women's Club.
Mary was a member of First United Methodist Church of Westfield. For many years she served on the YWCA Board of Directors. She received a Volunteer of the Year Award from the Chautauqua County United Way. For many years she volunteered at the Red Cross blood drives. She was a member of Phi Delta Kappa Sorority which honors women in the teaching profession.
She enjoyed handcrafts of every kind, particularly knitting. For many years she knit socks for the members of her retired teacher Monday coffee circle and numerous lap robes for residents of nursing homes. Many a happy afternoon was spent with a group of the ladies playing Tripoli or Canasta. She spoke often of how much she enjoyed the flowers of her friends' gardens that brightened her living room. Mary enjoyed a good book, especially historical biographies, and spent many hours with her Kindle.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Carol and son-in-law David Mellors; two grandsons, Michael (Lisa) Mellors of Greece, N.Y., and Douglas Mellors of Jamestown; and two great grandchildren, Elizabeth and Benjamin. She was beloved by her brothers-in-law, her sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, William and Robert; her husband, Earle, who died Sept. 16, 1984; and her son, Peter, who died Aug. 21, 1987.
Friends may call on Friday, Aug. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m., at the MASON Funeral Home, 37 Clinton Street, Westfield, N.Y. The funeral will be Saturday, Aug. 4 at 11 a.m., at The First United Methodist Church of Westfield, 101 East Main Street, Westfield, N.Y., with Rev. Matthew Golibersuch officiating. Burial will be in Bucksport, Maine at the convenience of the family.
Memorial Contributions to The Patterson Library Children's Library, 40 S. Portage Street, Westfield, N.Y. 14787 or to Hospice of Chautauqua County, 20 West Fairmont Avenue, Lakewood, N.Y. 14750 are encouraged.
Log on to www.masonfuneral.com to send Mary's family a message of sympathy.