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Mary Cecilia Hockman of Olney, Maryland passed away on July 3, 2019 at the age of 100 years and 8 months.
Mary was born in St. Mary’s County, Maryland on October 25, 1918 according to her baptism certificate, but she always said it was on October 26 (a source of considerable confusion to medical providers.)
Mary moved to Washington DC in 1938 and worked at the Washington Navy Yard during World War II. She met Jesse Hockman there and they married in 1945. They had two daughters and moved to the sleepy town of Gaithersburg, Md. in 1950. Everyone had vegetable gardens in those days and Mary and Jesse began their lifelong passion for growing their own food. Their gardens produced bountiful harvests that Mary cooked, canned or froze the old-fashioned way. When Mary and Jesse moved to Olney, Md, in 1980, they immediately roto-tilled the backyard to the astonishment of their neighbors. No doubt their long lives are a tribute to healthy eating. Eat your vegetables!
Mary was a skilled seamstress and earned a little cash altering clothes for others. She was one of the “Church ladies” who helped cater events and cared for church linens at St. Martin’s Catholic Church. Mary was also fond of crocheting and was expert with thread cotton (doilies, bedspreads—a lost art) and yarn (many, many afghans). She regularly won top prizes (Grand Champion and Best in Show) for her work at the Montgomery County Fair.
Mary’s family consists of two daughters, Shirley Barber and Mary Ann Hockman, two granddaughters, Cheryl Brookman and Lora Richardson, and two great-granddaughters, Taylor Brookman and Alexia Anderson.
Mary outlived her four siblings, James, Stephen, Louis, and Helen and her many lifetime friends. She was fortunate to have made new friends and had loyal nieces, nephews, grandnieces and neighbors who visited her often in her last years. The family sends their deep gratitude to all those who befriended and comforted her in her final days and years. The family is especially grateful to her caregivers, Isa, Alivia and Mary, who provided many, many days of gentle and compassionate care.
Mary was buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery alongside her husband, Jesse W. Hockman, who passed away in 2011. The family wishes to thank the staff of Montgomery Hospice for their wonderful and generous work. If you wish to make a donation in memory of Mary, the family recommends Montgomery Hospice. The family is planning a memorial celebration at a later date.
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