Remembering Mary Gaston

We lost a very special member of the Venice-Nokomis Woman’s Club in April. Mary Gaston passed on April 6 at the age of 92. I interviewed Mary last year for the newsletter. Here’s what I learned about Mary.

She hadn’t been to a meeting in a while because she didn’t have transportation. But she did use Uber to go shopping and to “special” appointments.

When she joined VNWC in 1984 there were 150 members, one of the highest memberships but not the highest in club history.

She told me that the College Club had a similar membership at one time and sometimes ladies who were members of both clubs would tell the VNWC program chair about a speaker she saw at the other club. Well, sometimes those same speakers would be on the agenda at one of VNWC’s meetings. Mary thought that was kind of like stealing, but I don’t it was. It was more like sharing the wealth in a way.

She didn’t like being ‘out front’ as she said. She liked working in the clubhouse kitchen getting the luncheon ready for after the meeting. Or putting together party food for the frequent dances that were held at the club house.

But she especially enjoyed visiting the nursing homes in the area on Thursday mornings. It was party time! Apple cider and cookies. Helping the diabetics check their sugar levels. Bingo or other games. Great fun for everyone.

They played a lot of cards in the clubhouse. Bridge of course. Some played rummy or Mah Jong always with tea and refreshments served.

Mary had a lot of wonderful stories like these, told in that sweet, Southern drawl of a North Carolina native. Thank you Mary for all you gave the club. You will be missed.