On Friday, September 3, 2021, Mary Elizabeth Hartford, 87, of Canton, passed away peacefully, at Guthrie’s Troy Community Hospital.
Born in Tioga County on August 25, 1934, to the late Hazel Broughton, Mary spent most of her adult life in Shunk. She was married to the late James Eugene Hartford, Jr., affectionately known to family and friends as "Jr." on August 25, 1951, and together they shared 54 years of marriage.
Mary considered herself a country girl and loved her country music and would frequently tap her feet to the tunes. Mary loved to dance and she and Jr. could be found in their earlier years at most square dancing events. I think the phrase, "shop till you drop" was founded in honor of Mary. She loved to shop, whether she bought anything or not, and it was generally the family who would drop from shopping before she was done. During the pandemic, she was introduced to amazon.com shopping since she could not shop in the stores and in July when her daughter came to visit her, they shopped for hours online at the hospital and rehab facility. She never tired of shopping and never met a yard sale that she didn't like. Mary enjoyed a friendly game of bingo and shared that on her recent stay at Sayre Rehab that they gave out candy bars to the winners in bingo. One day she won four snicker bars and we reminded her that she couldn't always win and had to let others win too. Mary had a sweet tooth and loved her white chocolate truffles, pies, as well as anything sweet. She would frequently suggest that she couldn't eat something because it was too tough to chew but if it were a sweet and she wanted it, she could get it down every time. Mary was known to her family for the delicious pies she made that were always a part of the meal growing up. Mary was a collector and the family would just roll their eyes when she took up a new collection until she tired of one thing and went on to another. Over the years, the collections varied and included bells, hardcover romance books, porcelain dolls, jugs, depression dishes and so on. But most of all, Mary loved her family and friends.
Mary cared for others most of her life. She was a loyal caregiver for Mr. and Mrs. Painter for many years and when they passed away, they left the home that Mary was currently living in to Mary and Jr. along with their pet dog, Pepper, who they cared for until his death. Mary cared for Jr. for many years during his long term illnesses and didn't really know what do with herself after he passed away in 2005 when she was no longer needed as a caregiver. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother and grandmother.
She is survived by a daughter, Linda (Robert Sawdon) Keener of South Carolina and a son, Carl Sr. (Laurie) of Canton; sisters, Shirley (Tony) LaMotta, and Joyce Drass; brothers, Clarence and Edward Werkheiser; grandchildren, Carl, Jr., Sharonda, and Joshua (Sashanna) Hartford; Travis, Josh and Bryan Tucker; great grandchildren, Austyn and Zoey Hicks, Gavin Hartford; Brayden, Kaelee, Noah, Lexi, Landon, Nevaeh, Max, Kashtyn, and Lydia Tucker; sister-in-laws, Peggy Wheeler, and Dolores and Connie Hartford; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to Mary's caregivers Michele Wolovich, Danielle Cranmer and Heather Coyle who provided love and support over the years.
Besides her mother and husband, Mary was predeceased by sisters and their spouses, Evelyn (Jack) House, Cleo (Glen) Emmitt, and Clara (Jim) Way, and Bonnie Mae Whitman; brother, John Wheeler; son-in-law, James Keener, Jr.; sister-in-law, Marjorie Hickok; Hartford brother-in-laws and spouses, Lawrence (Neva), Reed (Janice), Glen (Ora), Dean, Dale (Pat), Earl (Sandy), Harland, and Robert (Brenda Higley).
Visitation will be from 5:00-6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21 at the Pepper Funeral Home, 578 Springbrook Drive in Canton. Services will follow at 6:00 p.m. with Rev. Herbert Eby officiating. Internment will be held September 21 at 11:00 a.m. at the West Hill Cemetery in Shunk.
Please share memories and condolences with the family by visiting, www.pepperfuneralshomes.com
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