Mary Merry Oatway

KLT remembers land donor Mary Oatway.

NORTHFIELD, Vt. - Mary Merry Oatway died peacefully Saturday, Nov.17, 2018, at the age of 97.

She was born in Fillmore, Calif., on June 22, 1921, to Eugene and Blanche (Longley) Merry. She attended Smithfield and Norridgewock schools and graduated from Edward Little High in Lewiston in 1938. She subsequently graduated from Farmington State Teachers College.

In 1956 she married Gordon Charles Oatway of Augusta. She lived in East Winthrop for 58 years in the home they built together, raising two children.

Mary taught in Randolph Schools, Winthrop Schools, the State School for Girls in Hallowell, and provided continuing education for teachers. She served as Regent of the Augusta Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, President of the Kennebec Valley Garden Club, and on the board of directors of Viles Arboretum.

Full of adventure and curiosity, Mary was always welcome at any event. She was a person of diverse interests; writing, history, nature, and art, often the interests interwove in creative ways. Her design graced the cover of the Kennebec Valley Garden Club handbook for years and she was an integral part of the Blaine House Christmas decorating committee. A child of nature, she reveled in all things about the outdoors, hiking, gardening, birds, trees and creatures.

In 2012, Mary donated 89 acres of land to the Kennebec Land Trust, creating the Little Cobbossee Oatway Preserve. As her legacy she preserved the land in perpetuity for all to enjoy.

Mary was predeceased by her husband of nearly 50 years, Gordon Oatway, as well as eight siblings.

She is survived by a brother, George Merry, of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; a daughter, Martha Oatway and husband, Robert Jordan, of Asheville, N.C., and their daughter, Page Spiess of Randolph Center, Vt.; a son, Seth Oatway and wife, Lelonie, of Braintree, Vt., and their children, Ian Oatway, Caroline Adams, Nicholas Adams, and Evan Adams.

Interment will be at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta in a private ceremony. In lieu of a funeral, an announcement will be made for a Celebration of Life at a later date.

Arrangements are under the care of Roberts Funeral Home, 62 Bowdoin St., Winthrop, where memories and condolences may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at

In lieu of flowers or donations, the family requests that well-wishers find a special place in their garden or the woods to remember Mary fondly and privately.

Published in Central Maine on Nov. 20, 2018