Mary Elizabeth Keale nee Holsey (known to all as Mere Mere) from Little Silver and most recently for a second run in Shrewsbury, passed to her eternal rest on Monday, May 29 while surrounded by family at Riverview Medical Center. She was 90. She achieved her dream of the past decade by being reunited with Jack, her husband of 54 years, with whom she will no doubt enjoy the summer as she has wanted since his passing in February 2007. Known for her never diminished desire to engage in a spirited debate on virtually any topic, MereMere was a committed friend to many, an enthusiastic story teller, social to the end and the Matron of her loving family of five children (whom she loved), 16 grandchildren (whom she adored) and six (plus one due shortly) great grandchildren (who were the pride of her life).
A graduate of St. Dominic’s Academy (not the other one) in Jersey City and Marymount College in Tarrytown New York, where she was so aptly described in her 1948 Year Book as having “a mind of her own under that long smooth pageboy.” Mary went on to notorious and much discussed careers in retail and real estate. Her political aspirations began and ended with a spirited run on the Shrewsbury Board of Education. MereMere was the original trend setter for Athleisure wear and her rainbow assortment of sweat suits will be missed as is any day without sunshine. Among her many other commitments, none ranked higher than her dogged determination to return to her beloved Sea Island with her husband every year.
Despite being “born to be a lady” with no intention of cooking (thank you Bessie), she possessed and protected her secret recipe for homemade mustard. While she loved to give out her mustard as gifts, she protected its secret recipe for fear she would have nothing left to give. How wrong she was – for her real gift was just being MereMere. She was a daily communicant at Nativity Parish in Fair Haven and an active participant at the Rumson Country Club and Monmouth Beach Bath and Tennis Club (where, sadly, cabana row will be a bit less colorful this year). To the dining staffs at both Clubs, the family offers their deepest thanks for their years of dedicated, devoted and attentive care to our mother’s simple but direct requests.
MereMere and Jack raised their family in Shrewsbury for 47 years before moving to Little Silver in 2004. MereMere most recently lived at Brandywine Living at the Sycamore in Shrewsbury. The family would also like to thank the staffs at Brandywine, VNA, Riverview, Evolving Care and Fr. Robert Schecker for their never ending efforts to provide comfort, care and companionship to MereMere in her final stretch.
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