After a courageous three-year battle with cancer, Mary Lu Healey died peacefully on June 6 at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She was 77. Her loving family and siblings were with her before her passing.
Lu was a vibrant, dynamic person who loved her life on the Vineyard. Her warmth and enthusiasm were contagious and brought pleasure to all ages. She loved to entertain and was noted for her southern hospitality. One always looked forward to being with her as it was sure to be a time of laughter and the sharing of stories.
Born on Oct. 15, 1934 in Johnson City, Tenn., she was one of the four children of Mary and Lewis Shumate. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, she became a teacher in the U.S. military school system, educating children in Canada, Germany and Japan. She often referred to the many good times and adventures she had while abroad. It was during this time that she met the love of her life, David M. Healey, a native of Oak Bluffs who also taught in the military school system. After their marriage they continued teaching in Japan until the birth of their daughter. Lu and David then decided to settle on the Island and built a home in Oak Bluffs in 1971. David, who predeceased Lu, taught fourth grade in the Tisbury School. After his untimely death, Lu resumed teaching and taught in his classroom for more than 20 years.
Lu was devoted to her daughter, Mary, her son in law, Bruce McNamee, and her pride and joy, grandson Colin David. She loved visiting them and planning for their trips to the Vineyard, especially during the holidays. Decorating her home for Christmas, when she could display all the ornaments collected with David during their travels, brought her special pleasure. She was an expert in finding just the right gifts for friends and family in all seasons.
Her devotion to family was also seen in her love for her sister, Nancy Dixon, and her brothers, Lewis and Kent Shumate. Hardly a week went by when she did not call each one to see how things were going.
She loved to shop, followed fashions avidly, and made sure that her family and friends were always up to date. She also was extremely attentive to the needs of others, sending notes, visiting with those in need, delivering her famous chocolate chess pies and occasionally reminding her friends of what they should be doing. Her waving to all as she drove about the Island with the top down in her convertible, accompanied by the ever present terrier, is a warm and pleasant memory to many. She was a wonderful woman who will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
A service to honor the memory of this grand lady will be held on Saturday, June 23 at 11 a.m. at the Edgartown Federated Church.
Donations in her memory may be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 or to the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1829, Edgartown, MA 02539.
Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. Please visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.