Roscoe drove a bread truck and his route included Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. He bought the family’s appliances from a store there, Sandy said.
Mary and Roscoe moved to a cottage at Fahrney-Keedy Home & Village in Boonsboro in 1998, where she also volunteered, when Mary no longer could manage the stairs.
Roscoe died about a year later, having retired as a security guard from Fort Detrick in 1974. Mary died 13 years later, to the day.
Mary loved to play cards, especially the game 500. She went to card parties at the Women’s Club in Hagerstown and at Fahrney-Keedy. The couple also played cards with neighborhood and church friends.
Sandy said her parents didn’t travel a lot, but she remembers trips during her childhood to Ocean City, Md., and to Ohio to visit her mother’s relatives. There were 22 nieces and nephews on both sides of the family.
The Shiflers preferred being at home and having people in.
“She entertained a good bit — Christmas, New Year’s Eve, open houses. There was always food involved,” Sandy said.
Mary cooked Christmas dinner until she was 90 and liked to prepare food for ill neighbors at Fahrney-Keedy, as well as bake cookies for church bake sales. She also volunteered for 30 years for the American Red Cross, helping whenever there was a blood drive in Boonsboro.
Sandy said her mother was terribly afraid of thunderstorms, which would prompt her to take cover in a closet or stairwell. When Roscoe was working nights and a storm hit, Mary would wake Sandy up to keep her company and sit on the steps away from the windows.
Mary was frugal, but liked to dress up, Sandy said. As a child, she dreaded going with her mother to Fleischers in Hagerstown for hats because she considered it boring.
“She liked to dress nice. Always hats and those horrible furs,” Sandy said of Mary’s fur wraps, which were the style then.
Mary also was loyal to her hairstylist and went weekly to have her hair done by Martha Gish for 39 years, from the very first week she started doing hair until she retired.
“I will remember her with great fondness,” Martha wrote in a sympathy card to Sandy.
Mary enjoyed good health, despite a few bumps along the way. She broke both wrists in January 2000, but bounced back. Last year, Mary moved to the village’s nursing home after tripping over edging while watering her garden and breaking her leg.
Then, a few months later in November 2011, she broke her left hip. Besides Sandy, her constant companion through it all was her beloved cat, Callie, who now resides with Sandy and her three cats.
“Really, she was active as best she could until Labor Day. She was a great lady,” Karen said.
Sandy wrote a letter to her mother that was read by the minister at Mary’s funeral, thanking her mother for always being there and providing guidance and encouragement. She also shared “Mary’s Life Lessons” — always do your best, be kind to others, follow through on your responsibilities and most important, make every day count, as there might not be a tomorrow.
“You were always working, but never too busy to take time out for Daddy and me. You were the glue that kept the family together,” Sandy wrote.
“P.S. Your Callie is fine and has made peace with the grandcats.”
Editor’s note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail runs “A Life Remembered.” Each story in this continuing series takes a look back — through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others — at a member of the community who died recently. Today’s “A Life Remembered” is about Mary L. Shifler, who died Oct. 3 at the age of 97. Her obituary was published in the Oct. 5 edition of The Herald-Mail.