Mary Gilman Tufts Langdon passed away peacefully on February 11, 2020, at the age of 107, after living a very full, inspiring and diversified life. Mary was the daughter of Mary LawrenceTurnbull and Charles Gilman Tufts of Syracuse and New York City, and was born in Syracuse on September 28, 1912, the youngest of three children. Her brother, Laurence, and a sister, Georgiana, pre-deceased her. Mary’s good fortune started before she was born, with a last minute decision by her father not to sail with his pregnant wife on the maiden voyage of the Titanic, turning in his tickets, deciding not to be “one of the first by which the new is tried”. Her childhood was enriched with glorious summers in Mattapoisett, MA on Cape Cod, 4 years at Teela Wooket and Ecole Champlain Camps.
Mary was a graduate of the Emma Willard School in Troy, NY and Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA, majoring in Zoology with a minor in Chemistry. Upon graduation, she taught Chemistry, Physics and General Science at the Laurel School in Shaker Heights, OH. One year later, in 1936, she married her high school sweetheart, Richard D. Langdon, the love of her life from age 15. Mary and Richard had three children - Mary, Richard and George. While raising her children, she served as a Board member of the PTA, Cub Scout Den Mother, Girl Scout Leader, Sunday School teacher and volunteer worker for the Junior League.
Mary is survived by her two sons, Richard Tufts and George Charles Langdon, nine (9) grandchildren, seventeen (17) great grandchildren, and one (1) great, great grandchild. Mary and Richard moved four times, because of Richard's work with General Electric. They lived in East Hampton, MA, built a house in Fairfield, CT, and moved to Syracuse, NY, before putting down deep roots in a house they built in Fayetteville, NY in 1948. Mary, Richard and family enjoyed their camp on Otisco Lake, where Mary loved fishing. From 1961, Mary and her family shared many years together at their summer home in Siasconset, MA on Nantucket Island. Although Mary loved to swim and fish, rather than vacation, She and Richard both worked perpetually to improve their island home. Mary developed an interest in antiques and became an antique dealer augmenting her business by several other interests. She designed custom lamp shades, for which her husband, Richard, made over 600 patterns. Mary made custom lamps, restored and refinished furniture, custom framed prints and paintings, and, with her husband, exhibited at antique shows from Syracuse, NY to Virginia Beach VA. Her last show was at the Salt City Antiques Show at 100 years old.
She served as secretary and director of the Onondaga Antiques Dealers Association. Mary also conducted estate sales and Insurance appraisals. In addition to all the "jobs", creative activities and talents, Mary loved music and played piano, loved animals, loved playing bridge and was known for fun conversations, smiles, giggles, quick wit, intense interest in her family and an amazing resilience. People from all walks of life just found her fascinating. She attributed her long life to eating lots of vegetables, avoiding “noodly things’ and filling the nooks and crannies with ice cream. She will be dearly missed by all those who knew and loved her. In lieu of flowers, please support the ASPCA, The Parkinson’s Foundation or the American Cancer Society.
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