Mary Keep von Schlegell, 92, of Ogunquit, Maine passed away peacefully on the morning of October 30, 2018.
Mary lived her life with a powerful strength, an unfaltering sense of justice, and with honesty and generosity of spirit rarely seen in this world. She was fearless. She had a deep spirituality, converting as an adult to Catholicism, but also a wicked sense of humor. She was brought up mostly by her grandmother, who gave her a great love for song, and she sang like a cheerful bird throughout her daily life. People were naturally drawn to her, and she was surrounded all her life with creative and unconventional people. In her younger days she gathered friends for picnics on the rocks, bonfires on the beach and threw legendary parties—like the annual mint julep party, with her heartfelt performance of the Balcony Scene from Romeo and Juliet. Ever curious, she loved literature and poetry and was fascinated by astronomy, but most of all, she was interested in what was going on in people’s lives. She cherished the beauty in life, down to its smallest forms, even a straggling plant with one leaf! In her older age, Mary found a sense of peace that radiated to those around her.
Mary was born on September 22, 1926 to Helen Whitcomb Keep and Oliver Davis Keep in Spring Lake, New Jersey. As a girl, she lived in East Orange New Jersey where she attended Beard’s School for Girls. She then went to New York City in pursuit of being an actress, and ushered at Carnegie Hall before moving to Ogunquit, Maine, where she had spent childhood summers with her mother and grandmother. There, Mary wrote poetry and met and married David von Schlegell, a sculptor and artist. They had four children, eventually living in Cape Neddick; after 11 years of marriage they separated. She raised her children, as well as many others whom she took in, with little money and lots of fun. Her beloved son Tony lived with her until she went into long term care this past spring. She had tremendously strong faith, was unafraid of death and found joy in most every day. The hearts she touched are countless.
Mary is survived by her four children, Lisa von Schlegell of Willits, California, Julia Hegan of Rockport, Maine, Rosemary von Schlegell and Anthony von Schlegell, both of Amherst, Massachusetts, and her three grandchildren, Zachary Browne of Pittsfield, MA, Megan Futscher of Decatur, GA, and David Futscher of Oakland, CA and her sons-in-law Paul Futscher, James Hegan and Van Kaynor.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11am on Thursday, November 8th in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 236 Eldridge Rd., Wells, Maine. Burial will follow in the First Parish Cemetery, York, Maine. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to St. Anthony’s Franciscan Monastery in Kennebunk or Doctors Without Borders. Lucas & Eaton Funeral Home, York, Maine is directing arrangements. Visit www.lucaseatonfuneralhome.com