A funeral service will be held at The Woodstock Congregational Church on Sat. Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. for Mary Sterling Lord, 93, who passed away Jan. 20 at the Mertens House in Woodstock. There are no calling hours. A family celebration of Mary’s life will take place at The Highland Cemetery in the spring.
She was born April 5, 1920 on Carlton Hill in West Woodstock, the youngest child of Edward W. Abbott and Myrtle Wheelock Abbott.
She attended West Woodstock Elementary School and graduated from Woodstock High School, class of 1938. She attended the Elizabeth Ollis Beauty Academy in Worcester, Mass. in 1939.
Having chosen the career of beautician at a very early age, she worked as a hairdresser in Woodstock from 1939-1981. The highlight of her career was hiking over the hill from her River Street home, basket in hand, to do Lady Bird Johnson’s hair when Lady Bird was a guest at the Billings-Marsh-Rockefeller Mansion. This was during the time that The First Lady was in Woodstock to speak on the beautification of Vermont.
In 1942, Mary married Woodstock pharmacist, Richard C. Sterling.
They were members of the First Congregational Church where she and Dick were married and where each of their four children were baptized. Mary was a unique wife and mother. She used to say, “I work hard and I play hard!” And she did. She mowed lawn, planted trees, constantly painted the house both inside and outside, and spent hours enjoying her Beauty Shop and her customers. She loved to ski, make sugar on snow and popcorn balls with her children and grandchildren, water ski, go to the cottage on Silver Lake, and would take a picnic just about anywhere. She never sat still.
After Dick’s death in 1977, Mary worked in her River Street Beauty Shop until she married Edward M. Lord in January 1981. Both Ed and Mary continued living in Woodstock, spending winters in Tavares, Fla. Following Ed’s passing, Mary spent 11 years at Tall Timbers in Quechee before making The Homestead her final home.
She leaves her children Marianne Sterling Seymour of Exeter, N.H.; Robert Clark Sterling of Brandon; Sheryl Sterling Heinrichs of Cheshire, Conn.; and Jon Richard Sterling of Woodstock; their spouses; nine grandchildren; and seven great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mary Sterling Lord’s name may be made to Woodstock Masonic Association P. O. Box 63, Woodstock, 05091.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Cabot Funeral Home in Woodstock, condolences may be offered by visiting cabotfh.com
This obituary first appeared in the January 23, 2014 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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