Emotional Reunion 60 Years After Rescue

Mariellen McClory poses for a photo with Don Doubleday outside of Bentley’s Restaurant in Woodstock Oct. 19, 2017.
(Gareth Henderson Photo)


By Gareth Henderson, Standard Staff
More than six decades after being saved from drowning in Woodstock, Mariellen Edwards McClory met her rescuer on Oct. 19 in the village for the first time since the ordeal occurred on July 29, 1954.
McClory said plans were made for last Thursday’s lunchtime meeting at Bentley’s Restaurant, after she and her husband, Gerard, knew they’d be traveling to the area.
It was an emotional meeting with Woodstock resident Don Doubleday, who rescued McClory from the Kedron Brook just over 60 years ago.
“I never knew if I’d see you again,” Doubleday told McClory.
Mariellen McClory said one of her friends told her, “Be sure to thank him,” which she did.
“My kids thank you, and my grandkids thank you,” McClory told him.
McClory was 5 at the time, and was walking along the Kedron Brook near the Woodstock golf course with her cousin, Kathy White.
“We were picking raspberries, and I slipped in,” she recalled.
At the same time, Don Doubleday, then 10 years old, was a caddy for a foursome on the golf course. He saw somebody in the water, and Doc Merrill, one of the four men, told Don to go check.
He saw the young girl, who was face up in the water and gradually sinking, and dove in to help, Doubleday remembered. He swam in underneath her and moved her downstream. Merrill then picked her up out of the water, and gave her CPR, Doubleday recalled. Doubleday and McClory had never known each other before, or since that day. McClory was born in Woodstock and lived there until she was 7. She now lives in Colorado. She and her husband, Gerard, are celebrating their 44th anniversary this year.

This article was first published in the October 26, 2017 edition of the Vermont Standard.

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