Mary Stuart Wolfe

Mary Stuart Wolfe

12/4/25 – 11/1/13

 

wolff4Mary “Molly” Stuart Wolfe passed away peacefully at home on November 1, 2013. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 63 years, Bill Wolfe, who died at home in July 2013.

Molly was born in Rochester, New York on December 4, 1925, to Robert and Mary Stuart Mooney. She spent her first three years Kennicott, Alaska. Her parents then moved to Seattle, where she attended Garfield High School until her senior year, when her parents sent her east during World War 2 to Stuart Hall in Staunton, Virginia. Molly attended the University of Washington where she became a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and graduated in 1947. Bill and Molly met in 1948 during Bill’s residency at Virginia Mason Hospital.  They married June 10, 1950 at the home of Molly’s parents. They settled in Medina, and there they stayed until the end of their lives. Bill and Molly shared many years of adventures together, dividing time between Medina and their Orcas Island farmhouse. 

 

Molly was a wonderful wife and mother, devoted to her husband, her girls and her parents. She gardened wolfe3extensively, made pottery, traveled to Ireland, the Queen Charlottes, and Costa Rica. Molly and Bill loved to entertain family and friends with homegrown meals and special Orcas treats like oysters, grilled salmon, garden vegetables, homemade sherbet and apples from the orchard.

Molly’s first gardening membership was Unit 16 of the Arboretum Foundation, a group of early eastside gardeners who were eager to support the University of Washington Arboretum. She was very active in the Foundation and served as Unit Council Chairman, recruited volunteers for the many Arboretum events, and was in charge of classes to teach about plants of the Pacific Northwest. She served  on the Board for six years in various roles. She also joined Unit 111 of the Lake Washington Garden Club.

Molly was proud to be a charter member of Genus 1, the group that developed the Bellevue Botanical Garden. She loved all of her garden associations and treasured the lifelong friends she made. She is remembered for her calm reserve in any situation. She inspired many new gardeners and took great delight in sharing plants from her garden.wolfe1a_edited-1

Molly is preceded in death by her parents, her daughter Kathleen Cotton Wolfe, and her husband Bill. She is survived by daughters Mary S Clark (husband Larry) and Carolyn C. Wolfe, granddaughter Kathy Clark, and great grandchildren Riley and Lily. She is also survived by sister-in-law Jackie Mooney, nieces Barb, Nan, and Jenni, and nephews Thom (Janet), Jon (Robin), and Dan.

The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers who stayed by her side after Bill died: Filipina, Rowena, and Kathy, and the staff of Evergreen Hospice. There were many dear friends who came to see her after Bill died and the family is so grateful for their love and support during a very difficult time.

In memory of Molly, the family welcomes donations to the Bellevue Botanical Garden “Growing a Living Legacy” capital fund (PO Box 40536, Bellevue WA 98015); the San Juan Preservation Trust (PO Box 327, Lopez Island, WA 98261), or the Washington Arboretum Foundation (2300 Arboretum Drive E, Seattle, WA. 98112).

A memorial is planned for both Molly and Bill in March at Lakeview Cemetery in Seattle. A private family celebration of their lives will be held at their Orcas home next summer.

5 Responses to “Mary Stuart Wolfe”

  • Denise Lane says:

    Wow, what a beautiful picture of Molly. She was a very special lady, so elegant, strong and confident. She taught me so much, I am grateful to have known her. She will forever live on in my garden, through her “recommended” plants that I cherish.

  • Jenni Wolfe says:

    This is a beautiful and fitting tribute to Aunt Molly, the closest thing to royalty we had in our family. I am relieved that she suffers no longer and is finally reunited with Uncle Bill. Both of them made a lasting impression on me both as a child and as an adult.

  • Jon White says:

    With the passing of Aunt Molly and Uncle Bill, it truly feels like the end of an era. I miss them both very much.

  • Patty Pemberton says:

    Molly was a genteel and gracious woman, I agree she had the touch of royalty about her. She was a wonderful friend to me, and a beautiful mother to my friend Mary.

  • Elizabeth Bean (Brazeau) says:

    Mrs. Molly was a special lady and growing up with the Wolfe family made for many special memories which I hold close to my heart. Each year I so looked forward to their Christmas cookie decorating party and I know Mrs. Molly was instrumental in making it happen. I also had the pleasure of visiting the family at their farmhouse on Orcas Island where she would give us a bottle of Elmer’s Glue and send us to the beach. The works of art that we came back with were always displayed and she made sure we felt like Picasso. I’m glad I was able to visit her in August and I know she and Dr. Bill are back together as they should be.

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