Mary Louise Gilbert Cummings

By The Curry Coastal Pilot April 15, 2014 07:25 pm

 Mary Louise  Gilbert Cummings 

Dec. 7, 1933-March 31, 2014

Former Brookings resident Mary Cummings, of Florence, passed away suddenly on March 31, 2014, at the age of 80. 

Mary was born Dec. 7, 1933, in Doylestown, Penn., to George and Mary L. Gilbert. She was one of seven siblings, with three brothers and three sisters. 

Mary grew up in Doylestown where she met her husband, George S. Cummings Sr.;  they married on Oct. 24, 1953. 

With George in the U.S. Navy, the family moved around until they were able to put down roots in San Jose, Calif. 

In 1987 she and George “retired” to Brookings, where they enjoyed traveling around in their RV and became active members of Brookings Elks Lodge 1934. It was while living in Brookings that Mary began volunteering at the Brookings Community Food Share. 

After George passed away in June 2001, Mary moved to Florence to live near her daughter, Geri. It didn’t take long for her to get involved in the community. She volunteered at the Florence Food Share. She was a member of the Francis M. Yost American Legion Auxiliary and crocheted lap robes for the Roseburg Hospital Veterans with yarn that was mostly donated from others. Florence had a tub of yarn that never seem to go down; she crocheted dishcloths and dish towels for bazaars. As a member of the Florence Lady of the Elks she volunteered regularly at bingo on Tuesday nights, helping out with selling snacks and the bingo sheets. Very little got in her way from going to bingo on Tuesday nights. 

The Lady of the Elks nicknamed Mary the “Super Shopper,” shopping for the Meadowood Springs Speech and Hearing Camp wish list, clothes for foster kids and holiday wish lists for veterans living in local nursing homes. 

In March 2014, Mary was recognized as the 2013-2014 Lady Elk of the Year at the Lodge Volunteer Appreciation Dinner and as the Lady Elk of the Month for April 2014. One person is quoted as saying: “She is one of our ladies who is always in the background never seeking thanks for all she does.” 

One of the things Mary had become known for in the family was knitting Christmas stockings that included the person’s name and birth date — she took this task over after her mother-in-law, Dallas Cummings, passed away in 1965. It is estimated she knitted at least 76 stockings in more than 40 years. 

Mary is survived by her son George S. Cummings Jr. of Martell, Calif.; daughter Geri Hauck and husband Richard of Florence; brother Eugene Gilbert and wife Bernice of Pipersville, Penn; sister Doris Hartkorn of Southampton, Pa.; sister Amanda Hayden and husband James of Ambler, Penn. Also surviving are numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; honorary adopted daughter Andria Brimhall and husband Gregg of St. Marys, Ga., and their children Breana, Morgan and Chase, whom Mary dearly loved as her special honorary grandchildren.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband George S. Cummings Sr.; brothers John P. Gilbert, George O. Gilbert; sister Marguerite Thiele; and her parents.  

Mary was loved and will be missed by so many. 

Please join family and friends with memories and tales at her Celebration of Life Memorial Service  at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at the Driftwood Shores Resort, 88416 1st Ave, Florence. 

The family requests any donations be made in her name to Florence Food Share, P.O. Box 2514, Florence, OR 97439.

Arrangements by Burns’s Riverside Funeral Home in Florence.

Submitted by Burns’s Riverside Funeral Home in Florence.