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Mary Eloise Fay

Mary Eloise Fay, beloved widow of Eli Perrin Fay Jr., doting mother to Bruce W. Fay, Laurel E. Fay, Kristin F. Riley, and Daniel P. Fay (Lindy), and devoted grandmother to Elizabeth I. Fay, Rebecca L. Fay, and Conrad P. Fay, passed away on December 23, 2017, at age 96. She was a resident of Belvedere for 52 years.

Mary was born in Los Angeles on July 15, 1921, to Leanore Guthrie and Orion Onward Schick, the eldest of three children and caring sister to her brothers, Jim and Bill. As a child she and her family moved to Marion, Ind., to weather the depression on her uncle's farm, then to Houston, Texas, where she attended high school.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., with a bachelor's degree in history and a minor in chemistry. She fondly remembered weekend excursions to New York City with her friends. While there she remembered once being introduced to Frank Sinatra, who was performing during the intermission of a movie matinee.

Mary met her husband of 50 years, Stanford graduate and Navy Ensign Eli Perrin Fay Jr., "Perrin," on a blind date while he was serving in Norfolk, Va. They were married in 1943 in a chapel of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. They raised their four children in the San Francisco Bay Area and, for several years, in London, England.

Mary was a strong, well-read and talented woman. She was an avid community volunteer, and a faithful parishioner and guild member at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Belvedere. She imbued her children and grandchildren with a deep love of nature, world culture, history, travel, and the arts. She enjoyed good cuisine and raised home cooking to an art.

A lifelong patron of the San Francisco Symphony and Opera, Mary equally enjoyed singing along with CDs of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. She did not shy away from adventurous excursions, whether on expedition to the Galapagos Islands, cruising the Mediterranean, or joining a tour to Eastern Turkey, but what Mary truly lived for was quality time with her children and grandchildren. After Perrin's passing in 1994, she continued this special tradition at home, at local restaurants, and in other favorite locations such as the Sonoma coast, New York City, and Mexico.

She was also a devoted San Francisco Giants fan, and until recent years enjoyed riding the ferry to the ballpark with a family member to cheer on her team.

A private service was held on Dec. 27 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for any contributions to: St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 3 Bayview Ave., Belvedere, CA 94920; San Francisco Opera, 301 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102; or Marin Humane, 171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato, CA 94949.

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