FALMOUTH — Mary Margaret Gummere Hall, 74, died Aug. 3 at Mercy Hospital in Portland after a courageous battle with lung cancer, surrounded by her family.
A longtime resident of Cumberland Foreside, and more recently Falmouth, Hall was born in Trenton, New Jersey, on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 1940.
She was the oldest of six children of William and Margaret (Peplow) Gummere, and often said she grew up “under the easel” of her mother, an accomplished professional artist who studied in Fontainebleau, France, and at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Hall’s father was an engineer whose ancestors helped found Haverford College and presided over the New Jersey Supreme Court.
She eventually went on to pursue an artistic career of her own, learning with local painters including Bonnie Spiegel. Hall created hundreds of landscapes, portraits and works of calligraphy. Many of these hang today in the homes of friends and relatives, and some of her travel paintings were shown as recently as July at Couleur Collection, a boutique in Falmouth.
In 1957, then-Mary Gummere graduated from The Convent of the Sacred Heart School in Overbrook, Pennsylvania. She later attended Newton College in Massachusetts, now part of Boston College. While a senior at Sacred Heart, she agreed to meet two brothers of a classmate. After a long and sometimes long-distance courtship, she agreed to marry one of them.
On June 17, 1961, in Trenton, she married William J. Hall III, a physician whose medical specialty was described simply by his mother-in-law as “being a wonderful doctor.” Inspired by a weekend visit to Maine, the couple lived briefly in Cape Elizabeth and Portland, where a son, William J. Hall IV, was born. She also taught at the former Pride School in Portland.
The family soon moved to Augusta, Georgia, where another son, Peter Joseph, was born; Marblehead, Massachusetts, birthplace of daughter Mary Martha; and Lansdale, Pennsylvania. In 1970, Hall and her family returned to Maine, settling in Cumberland Foreside. Another daughter, Elizabeth Gummere, was born there.
Mary Hall was known as a devoted wife and mom who deeply loved, and was deeply loved by, her family and friends. She taught catechism at her church, Holy Martyrs, in Falmouth, and was active in the League of Women Voters. She also served as president and busy volunteer with the Women’s Committee of the Portland Symphony Orchestra.
She loved to read, and was an expert solver of New York Times crossword puzzles. She also was an avid traveler. With her husband, sister, niece Katie, other family members and friends, she visited destinations including Mexico, Bermuda, Quebec, many Caribbean islands and most of Europe. Her enjoyment in discovering new places also provided material for many of her paintings.
Hall is predeceased by her parents; a brother-in-law, Roger La Storia; and two infant children, Michael and Sarah.
She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Bill; son, Will, of Portland; son, Peter, of South Portland, and his son, Chappy; daughter, Martha, her husband, Joseph Kelliher, and their daughter, Megan, of Cambridge, Massachusetts; daughter, Elizabeth, of Gill, Massachusetts, and her sons Will and Nick; brother, William Gummere III, and wife Jane, of Aptos, California, and Hamburg, New Jersey; sister, Agnes La Storia, of Portland and Falmouth; brother, Peter Gummere, and wife Maryanne, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont; brother, Richard Gummere, and wife Janet, of La Plata, Maryland; brother, John Gummere, and wife Sue, of Philadelphia; two “double cousins,” Margaret Sullivan, of Princeton, New Jersey, and Elizabeth Buckley and husband Tom, of Grasonville, Maryland; brother-in-law, John Hall, and wife Diane, of Medford Lakes, New Jersey; sister-in-law, Zita Seher, and husband Bob, of Haddonfield, New Jersey; and many nieces, nephews, other family members, “unofficial” family members and friends.
The Hall family extends special thanks to her physicians and nursing staff at Mercy Hospital and at Falmouth by the Sea.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, Aug. 9, at 10 a.m., at Holy Martyrs Church, 266 Foreside Road, Falmouth. Interment will then take place at Pine Grove Cemetery, Falmouth, followed by a reception at the church.