Marhofn 294.17 - May 2015

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Mary Butcher

At the 2007 meeting in St John's Town of Dalry, Mary was named as a Wee Bagger and in her eulogy it was stated that Mary had climbed 92 hills including 55 Marilyns and 51 islands plus revisits. Mary and her family were numbered 28-33 in completing the Cleveland Way.

Mary's joy of walking had been encouraged by an aunt taking her to Holiday Fellowship (HF) and Countrywide Holiday Association (CHA) holidays. In 1958 at the Ballycastle HF (husband finders) Centre, Ken Butcher eyed Mary across the dance floor. The following year they went to Kinfauns Castle with Perth CHA (caught husbands) where Ken's proposal was accepted. Mary had trained as a seamstress in ladies wear, then moved to Hepworth on high-quality menswear. Her father ordered a suit to give his daughter away. Mary's foreman gave her the task, so Mary made her father's suit for her wedding.

Mary had many creative skills such as woodwork, pottery, art, sewing, knitting, gardening, swimming, cooking and baking - the latter finding its way to many a final summit, suitably iced to celebrate a completed hill list. Mary recorded many a scene or bunch of flowers, usually using gouache paints as Ken was bagging. Those pictures have become precious now. Like most loving wives, Mary supported Ken in all his away-from-home interests. Ken has not just lost a wife but his best friend for 56 years and a mother to their surviving four children, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Mary had borne Lupus with its associated side illnesses nearly all her life and was receiving treatment. She had spent the previous day as normal, doing the shopping alone and walking her dog twice. However, she awoke Ken in the early hours and was soon in theatre but went quickly whilst under anaesthetic, the cause being angioedema. May she rest in peace.

Ken Butcher

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