Mary Aldrich, 97, of Deming, New Mexico passed away at Willow Manor Assisted Living Facility on March 21, 2021 after a brief illness.
She was born into the Roaring Twenties, started school as the Great Depression loomed, came of age during World War II, married John Aldrich after the war and raised two daughters, Elizabeth and Sandra, during the tumultuous decades of the 1950s and ‘60s. All this taught her that life circumstances change; seasons of hardship are followed by seasons of joy, seasons of want by seasons of abundance and seasons of loneliness by seasons of love. For ninety-seven years, she adapted and thrived in all the seasons of her life. Born in Connecticut and raised in Port Chester, New York, she was the second of five children. She graduated from Port Chester High School and honed her style and fashion skills at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She worked for the manufacturing company, Russell, Birdsell & Ward before marrying John (Jack) Aldrich at age twenty-four. They had two daughters, Elizabeth and Sandra. During the children's school years, Mary put her skills to work as a volunteer school librarian, teacher’s assistant, costume designer and seamstress for the children's school plays. Later, she returned to work as a secretary at a manufacturing company.
Mary and Jack retired to Deming, New Mexico in 1989. Though Mary was reluctant to move at first, she adapted to their new lifestyle with grace. It turned out to be one of the happiest times in their married life. The blue skies and warm climate of the Southwest suited Mary's green thumb. She loved having her hands in the dirt. The plants and trees adored her as well, always yielding a bountiful harvest. She was known for her culinary skills, but her specialty was baking delicious desserts. Her youngest sister once remarked that the three sisters could have operated a successful bakery, with Mary as baker and creative director. She was a devoted wife and companion to Jack for fifty-three years. When Jack passed away in 2001, she dedicated herself with renewed enthusiasm to her friends and volunteering at Holy Family Catholic Church in Deming. A few years ago, she moved to Willow Manor Assisted Living and once again adapted to her new environment, remaining as feisty and independent as possible well into here nineties. She continued to keep her own counsel and always, always did it her way. She passed away on the second day of spring just as the first leaves of her beloved peach tree were opening. Now she can see the glorious spring season unfold in the Southwest from her place in Heaven.
Mary is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Aldrich-DeNoyelles of New York and Sandra Aldrich; two grandchildren, Rachel DeNoyelles and Jessica DeNoyelles of New York; and four great-grandchildren.
Graveside services will be held Thursday, March 25, 2021 at Ft. Bayard National Cemetery. Fr. Casmir Anozie will officiate. Covid-19 restrictions will be enforced.
Donations may be made in Mary’s name to Willow Manor Assisted Living Employee Donation Fund, 815 West Adobe, Deming, New Mexico 88030 (575) 546-0546 (make checks to Willow Manor, with “Employee Donation” on the memo line), or, The Smile Train, 633 Third Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10017 (800)-932-9541, or online at The Smile Train Donation Page https://donate.smiletrain.org/givenow?honor=yes.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary S. (Bellantoni) Aldrich, please visit our floral store.