Celebrating the life of Mary Rue (nee Perry)

Mary Margaret Perry

August 23, 1931 - September 12, 2019

Mary Margaret Perry, or Mary as we all knew her, was the third child born to Hilda and Carr Michael Perry during the hard times of the depression of the 1930s. She was younger sister to Mic and Jerry, elder to Peter, Pat and Tom.

The family lived in a house on Oberon Street in Eugowra. Growing up here with her large family gave her an appreciation of country life and she would always love being in her home town of Eugowra.

At an early age she loved riding horses, something she would have continued with if not for a later fall from a horse which resulted in a back injury. This may have stopped her from horseriding but did not stop her from achieving many other things in life.

After completing her schooling in Eugowra Mary chose to study dressmaking/tailoring at East Sydney College. During this time she lived in Surry Hills and spent time in Sydneys eastern suburbs around Bondi and Coogee.

She always had fond memories of the time she spent there working as a cutter and designer and enjoying the city life for a while. Mary's skills in sewing and dressmaking also came in handy later when Mary made debut dresses for her daughters and some of her nieces.

Mary eventually moved back to Eugowra and opened a shop, where she did dressmaking and selling ready made clothes.

During this time Mary used to enjoy going to dances in the local area. It was at one of these events at a dance hall in Gooloogong that she met a young man from the Canowindra area named Brian Rue. I am told that Mary wanted a Brian mentioned as her Darling Brian.

They were married, in Eugowra, of course, in 1965. The newlyweds then had to move to Rugby, near Boorowa, where Brian had a job managing a large cattle farm.

Soon thereafter they had their first daughter, my darling Marianne, also born in Eugowra. A few years later Lauren was born, in Cowra.

Mary`s heart was always in Eugowra and after time spent living on farms near Rugby and then Canowindra they moved into a house on Nanima Street.

Mary loved collecting and restoring old furniture and the house was full of antiques and collectibles lovingly restored and constantly rearranged. It was here she felt most at home because of her family ties and friendships.

During this time Mary had become the Eugowra Show Society secretary, a job she actively enjoyed doing for many years.

Mary also served many years on the Eugowra Hospital Auxilliary Committee. She always enjoyed being involved and giving back to her local community.

Among her other interests was gardening, Mary had, by most standards a huge garden and she enjoyed buying pots and plants to adorn her garden.

Even in times of drought her garden was always maintained and for a time the garden was included in the open gardens scheme and won an award.

Mary also loved flower arranging and was an accomplished florist, for many years she helped with the flower arranging in the church.

Most people would know of Mary`s love of art and she spent a lot of time painting and drawing while listening to her preferred classical music.

She was always trying new art mediums and she has left a legacy of many oil and acrylic paintings, watercolours, pastels and embroideries to remember her by. Her favourite subjects of flowers and birds were outstanding.

But Mary`s biggest love in life was Brian and her family. She liked nothing more than when family would visit, loved spending time with her daughters and grandchildren of whom she was immensely proud.

Mary would also love visiting Sydney and the Central Coast to visit her daughters families and during her visits to Sydney she would always want to go shopping in the City. She had champagne tastes but on a beer budget.

She would always visit with uncle Michael in Sydney also and their discussions on politics, memories of country life and a little local gossip would extend well into the night- few could match Mary, Brian and uncle Michael for stamina.

Knowledgeable, opinionated, sometimes fiery, but never coarse, Mary was much loved by all in the family. She was never one to fade into the background.

After losing her darling Brian, Mary soon found the house too hard to maintain and she moved, reluctantly at first, into Eugowra MPS.

After some resistance of the rules, especially around smoking, Mary soon settled in to form special and lasting friendships with staff and others there.

As in the rest of her life many came to admire her character and strength. Many of them talk about the challenges and laughs that Mary brought there in her later years. They too would get to know her unique sense of humour and wit.

In her final days Mary was surrounded by her family members and a constant stream of friends and extended family.

We would like to thank all of the staff at Eugowra MPS who cared so much for Mary over the years, also a special thankyou to sister Kathy who cared for both Mary and Brian.

Mary will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Mary's funeral was at St John the Baptist Catholic Church Eugowra on September 20, 2019