Mary Lu (Page) Hatstat (89) passed away peacefully early in the morning of December 15th with family by her side after a recent decline in her health. She wrote the following (with a few updates) several years ago.
I decided to write my own farewell as I know my family will have other things going on and having this piece done should bring peace of mind, as well as “Mother has had her last word”!
I was born August 15, 1931 in what was called the New England Sanitarium, Stoneham, MA. I was the youngest of four girls whose parents were Edward L. “Ned” and Muriel Backus Page. I was named Mary Lucile but always went by Mary Lu. We lived in Melrose, MA where I attended school, graduating from Melrose High School in 1949. I went on to Green Mountain (Junior) College and then attended the University of Maine in Orono where I was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority. There is where I met my husband-to-be and began the second part of my life’s journey. On February 21, 1953, Ralph Hatstat and I were married in the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA.
We settled in Holden, MA where we welcomed our four daughters, Susan, Nancy, Sally and Rebecca “Becky”. In 1965, Ralph began work at Simmonds Precision in Vergennes, VT and June, 1966 we moved the family to Plank Road, New Haven, VT, our home for 39½ years. From there we moved into an apartment built on to the Gibbs’ house in Bristol, VT and in September 2017 I moved to The Residence at Otter Creek in Middlebury, VT.
In 1968 I became a teacher by enrolling in Open Door to Teaching, a state program for those who had college but no teaching certificate. As I went through this 1 year program I taught a 3rd grade class for no salary and obtained my certificate. That year led to a 25 year teaching career at Beeman Elementary, New Haven. It was the perfect job and I was so fortunate to have had that opportunity. I met some wonderful children. For another 6 years I was a substitute at the Bristol Elementary School. Throughout those years I was able to earn my degree from UVM.
I was a long time member of the New Haven Congregational Church. Throughout the years I sang in the choir, was Superintendent of Sunday School, Head of Board of Deacons, member of handbell choir, member and former officer of Ladies Union. Years ago I was a member of New Haven Home Dem. Group.
I have had some favorite moments throughout the years. As a young girl I spent summers in Thorton-Campton, NH at a home built for my grandparents, Page. Swimming in the Eddy, berry picking, rolling down the hills, riding cows at neighbor’s farm. In 1949 this place was sold and in 1950, my parents moved to Maine. They bought a cottage on Lake Cobbossee which was a 50 year summer haven for all of our families. Eastwood will always hold a special place in the hearts of the adults as well as the grandchildren.
My husband, Ralph, died in 2009 and daughter, Becky Gibbs, in 2011. In 1994 I lost a sister, Muriel Ann Page, in Chapel Hill, NC from ALS, in 2013 my eldest sister, Patricia Page of Durham, NC from Parkinson’s and Polly Cobb of Winthrop, ME in 2016. I am survived by Susan Mackin of Essex Junction, VT, Nancy LaPierre of Chicopee, MA and Sally (and David) May of Jeffersonville, VT. Also, I leave my wonderful grandchildren, Colleen Mackin, Page, Jordan and Miles May, Katherine Ash and Caroline Gibbs. In addition, I leave 4 nieces and 1 nephew, Polly Cobb’s family of Maine, and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
I have had a wonderful life. Through all my years, many ups and many downs, I am most grateful for the love of family and friends. May my love for them transcend to the next generation(s).
Due to the current times, the family has held a private service and burial and plans to have a celebratory gathering for Mary Lu in 2021 when, hopefully, we can bring together the friends and family for whom she has expressed her love. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the New Haven Congregational Church in general support of the church and the bellchoir (PO Box 6, New Haven, VT 05472) or the Vermont Respite House (Development Office, UVM Health Network – Home Health & Hospice, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester, VT 05446) would support causes to which she was devoted.