In Memoriam - Mary Ross

In Memoriam - Mary Ross

Artist, Mary Ross, a dear friend and supporter of me and The Drawing Room passed away May 13, 2023 after a brief illness.  She was 95-3/4.  I had the opportunity to sell Mary's work since she walked into my space in Marion to introduce herself.  Over the years of doing business together, we became friends, with Mary often remarking she wished she had met me when she was younger.  I never asked her to elaborate but always got the sense that she would have helped me grow the gallery as she described it.

This is one of my earliest recollections of Mary in The Drawing Room when we were in Marion.  She almost always participated in our artist events and often would bring company to visit when she had out of town guests. 


I met many of her Dexter Beach neighbors along the way as she was fortunate to have many who loved her and would stop by to make sure she had what she needed at any given time.


Mary was eager to learn and eager to help artists in her travels.  I encouraged her to host an art show at the Council on Aging for an ArtWeek event once.  Not only did she take me up on it, she continued to host and schedule shows - she also went on to blame me for the trouble.  By the time I moved the shop to New Bedford, I didn't see her as much - her driving had slowed down and the Water Street location was not as accessible to her.  Fortunately, with the help of her nephew Billy, we did get to have lunch at The Black Whale on occasion of our birthdays in 2019.  Mary told me not only would he drive her to The Black Whale, but he would also pay for our lunch!


It was around that time that she started talking to me about a show of her work at the Marion Art Center.  We worked together for a year organizing the work with help of our friends Dannie Engwert and Stephanie Stroud.  I worried during that year as she started to have frequent hospital visits.  We succeeded in bringing her work to life in both galleries of the MAC in July 2022.  She grinned from ear to ear at the opening reception where she was greeted by family, friends and supporters.  After the show, I visited with her at home and she was eager to share the photo I posted above.  It was printed on 8.5 x 11 paper and she asked me if I liked it.  Of course, I like it I responded, that's why I've printed and framed a 5x7 print for my office!  We both laughed.  I added that what I enjoyed most about the photograph, is that her portrait at a younger age hangs behind us on the wall.


I successfully brought her to our Willliam Street location with the help of our friend Dannie.  Dannie agreed to drive her to the shop one Sunday last fall and I would drive her home.  As Mary walked in the door, Dannie suggested that she sit down to which she abruptly responded, "I don't want to sit down, I want to look around!" 
She made her way around the shop and commented on many artists' work.  She did end up sitting down at some point and we continued our conversation.  
I thoroughly enjoyed my friendship with Mary Ross.  She was the type of friend that you can pick up where you left off the last time you spoke, regardless of the amount of time that had passed and I miss her.  I thank her neighbor Steve for alerting me of her quick downturn so that we had the opportunity to say what needed to be said.

As a final note, she never liked this photograph of her as she insisted it made her look old.  I reminded her that it was a good way to get things done; for example, she knew I often used her age to close a sale at the shop.  That amused her.  I would aIso encourage her to accept the aide's help at home when she resisted.  Listen I said, if they do the housework, you can do your art work.  And with that she would let out that spontaneous and contagious laugh that will never be forgotten.  Fair winds and following seas, my friend.