Mary Drayton Grant
Norwich, Vt — Mary Drayton Grant, long time resident of Norwich, Vermont, died February 6, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 9, 1925, Mary grew up in a very close extended family and then went on to create a wonderful family of her own in Norwich. Her wit, compassion, and quick, welcoming smile drew friends of all ages and will be sorely missed.
In her younger years, Mary was an accomplished equestrian and captain of her basketball team. In 1947 she married Joseph Lewis Grant, and their 60 year marriage was full of friends and neighbors, travel and animals, and of course family and more family.
Spirited and funny, Mary was a terrific mother and wife. She raised four independent children, while also sailing, skiing, and becoming involved in Norwich and Hanover organizations such as the League of Women Voters, the Hopkins Center, and the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. For over twenty years she lunched on Fridays with a stimulating group of women who provided her with friendship and conversation, and then support and understanding as her health began to fail. Through it all, family remained her primary focus, and her energy and humor were the foundation for a vibrant and happy home on Main Street, Norwich.
Starting with her honeymoon, Mary was a good sport about sailing with Joe, so long as it wasn’t a race. They sailed dinghies in the rivers and lakes of Vt. and N.H., and larger boats with family and friends in Maine, the Caribbean and Bermuda. Animals of various types joined her household, and she delighted in each of them from golden retrievers to abandoned canaries, fattening Holsteins and obstinate mules.
Traveling together also started early in their marriage when Mary accompanied Joe to Heidelberg, Germany where he was stationed after the war. They subsequently went on land trips to Asia, Europe and South America, and she joined other family in travel to Australia and Hawaii. Most vacations that were not spent on boats were spent on Mt.Desert Island, Maine where in the last decade of her life Mary helped to build a family vacation home at Sawyer Cove.
Mary was predeceased by her husband Joe in 2007, and at that point she moved to the Shelburne Bay Senior Living Community in Shelburne, Vt. Her family is extremely grateful for the warm and gentle support she received there as her health declined. Mary moved to Cleveland to be close to Percy just two weeks before her death. She is survived by daughters Barbara and Percy, and son Charlie. Her daughter Drayton died in October 2012. She is also survived by grandchildren Mallory Briggs, Christopher Grant, Samuel Baden, Ashley Grant, Nathaniel Baden and Joseph Briggs.
A service in Mary’s memory will be held at St. Barnabas Church, Norwich, on July 11, 2013 at 1 pm.