Gardening 06

Mary Chaffee Devitt

August 9, 1946 ~ September 10, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old


Mary Chaffee Devitt passed away on September 10th surrounded by her loving family after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She was a devoted and loving mother and wife, sister and friend.

Mary was born in Bath, New York to Lillian Irene Shipman and Stephen Chaffee, and moved to Montgomery when she was a year old. It was in this village where she grew up with her older sister Phyllis and her younger sister Nancy, met her future husband, Ed Devitt, and raised their five children: Mia, Megan, Marc, McKew, and Edward.

She attended Valley Central High School, part of the first class to graduate from the new building. She received a Master’s Degree in education from SUNY New Paltz. Mary was a very active member of her community, leading fundraising efforts for the Montgomery Library, volunteering at St. Mary’s Church, supporting the Montgomery Nursery School, and guiding girl scouts as their troop leader. She worked for a number of years as a teacher at East Coldenham Elementary School as well as starting and running Montgomery Travel Agency.

When their first child Mia was born with Down Syndrome, Mary and Ed dedicated their lives to giving her the fullest life possible. She advocated for integrated education for her daughter in the local public schools and in all aspects of her daily life. When Mia developed kidney failure and needed in-patient care, Mary spent countless hours with her in the hospital, never giving up her devotion to her for a single moment. And when Mia passed away, Mary kept her memory alive by recounting the endless stories and adventures that we all shared with her.

Mary loved to garden and could be seen many days in her front yard on Wallkill Avenue tending to her beautiful flowers. She cherished time spent with many of her friends, laughing with Ginny and reuniting with her book club. She loved children’s literature and highly valued education and language learning throughout her life. She also traveled the world, visiting China and India, spending months in France, where she took French classes and immersed herself in its culture.

She is predeceased by her daughter, Mia, her grandson, Harrison Rose, and her sister, Nancy Sprague.

She leaves behind many family members and friends who all loved her dearly: her husband, Ed of Montgomery, NY; her daughter, Megan Rose of Dorset, VT, and son-in-law, Rich Rose of New Paltz, NY; her sons, Marc and his wife Colleen of Montgomery, NY, McKew and his wife Katie of Williston, VT, and Edward of Montgomery, NY; her grandchildren Maia, Hudson, Travis, Eisley, Stella, Monty, Chip, Violet and Caleb, and sister Phyllis Brescia of Montgomery, NY.

Visitation will be Friday, September 15, 2023, 2:00-6:00pm, at the Greenhouse, 96 River St., Montgomery, NY 12549.

Internment of ashes will be Saturday September 16, 2023, at 11am at St. Mary's Cemetery, Montgomery, NY.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Village of Montgomery Free Library Association.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Chaffee Devitt, please visit our floral store.

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September 15, 2023

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
The Greenhouse
96 River Street
Montgomery, NY 12549

September 16, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Mary's Cemetery
Railroad Ave.
Montgomery, New York 12549


Montgomery Free Library
133 Clinton St, Montgomery, NY 12549,


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