Obituary: Mary Pratt, former Darien resident, active town volunteer

IMG_0324Mary Pratt of Fort Myers, FL, formerly of Darien, CT, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 28th, surrounded by her loving family.  Born in March 1932, Mary was the daughter of the late Francis and Ruth Lawler.  

  To cherish her memory, she leaves behind a family who loved her dearly, including her husband of 57 years, Lee Pratt; her daughter Tina Shaffer and her husband John Shaffer of Medford, NJ; her son David Pratt and his wife Lisa Pratt of Sebastopol, CA; her grandchildren Katie, Melissa, Anna, Maize, Leo and Eva; and her niece Pat and nephew Bill.  In addition to her parents, Mary is predeceased by her brothers Bill Lawler and Bob Lawler.  

  Mary and Lee met while working together at J. Walter Thompson in Los Angeles and were married in 1958 in New York City.  They raised their family and lived in Darien from 1960 until 2015 when they permanently moved to Shell Point Retirement Community in Florida, although Mary’s heart always remained in Noroton Bay.   Mary was fun-loving and adventurous.  She had a true zest for life and loved travel, literature, and trying new things. She maintained a great appreciation for the arts and was an aficionado of cinema, theater and music.  She enjoyed life most when spending time with friends and family and was perpetually planning the family’s next reunion, an impromptu get-together, or frequent outings with friends.  

  Mary loved decorating and gardening; it satisfied her desire to care for things, whether they were her flowers, home, or family.  Mary was a very compassionate and loving person and had great empathy for those less fortunate which she demonstrated through her service in volunteer activities.  Among these were Person-to-Person, the DCA Thrift Store, Stamford Soup Kitchen and The Children’s Aid Sale.  Mary faced real challenges in the latter years of her life including the loss of her home in Noroton Bay to Hurricane Sandy, and untreatable hearing loss; however, she continually worked to maintain a positive attitude, and clearly expressed gratitude for the blessings in her life.  Mary will be lovingly remembered and truly missed by her family and many dear friends.

  A memorial service & celebration of her life is planned for September 30, 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Church, 1986 Post Road, Darien.

  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Person-to-Person: by mail 1864 Post Road, Darien, CT  06802, online at www.p2phelps.org, or by phone 203-655-4392.  Please note that the donation is being made in memory of Mary Pratt.

—by the Family