Obituary: Blodwin Mary Gratwicke Wilbur

Blodwin Mary Gratwicke Wilbur with Quince

Blodwin Mary Gratwicke Wilbur with Quince

Blodwin Mary Gratwicke Wilbur died in her sleep at home on Sunday, July 6. Mary was born in Knucklass, Wales, on October 4, 1918, and grew up in London, England. She was a graduate of the London School of Economics and lived through the Blitz during World War II. She was a social worker in England until 1950, when she traveled on a Fulbright fellowship to New York. There, she met Emery Wilbur, whom she married in 1951. She worked in New York until her retirement. Her two children, Jane and Evan, were born in 1952 and 1954, respectively. In 1976, Mary and Emery moved to Warwick, New York, where she took up gardening. In 1989, the Wilburs moved to Trinidad, California. She still gardened, wrote articles for Pacific Horticulture magazine and procured a grant to plant twenty-five cherry trees in the town. Mary wrote her memoir, Bits and Pieces of My Life, in 2011 and donated all proceeds to the new Trinidad Library. She was an active writer of letters to the editor to several local newspapers. Mary was a member of the Great Intenders, a local writers’ group; the Patrick’s Point Garden Club and the Friends of Trinidad Library. She started the Trinidad Tree Tenders, to care for the cherry trees. For ten years, Mary stood for peace with Women in Black in Trinidad, in solidarity with women around the world. She is survived by her children Jane and Evan, her son-in-law Raghu Raghavan of Baltimore and three grandchildren, Lalita, Tula, and Javas. She leaves behind many friends and her beloved rescue poodle, Quince. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory may be made to the Trinidad Library. A celebration of Mary’s life will be held at a later date.

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