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Mary Mance, born Mary Elizabeth Deckers, joined the love of her life, John Robert Mance and her youngest son, Russell Kenneth Mance, in the place she aspired to be for her entire life, Heaven.
Mary’s parents, Bernardus and Catherine Deckers and her older sister Catherine arrived in America via the ship Rotterdam from the Netherlands in 1920, and the immigrant family was processed through Ellis Island. Mary was born in Hoboken, New Jersey on December 8, 1924.
Mary graduated high school from the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Hoboken, NJ in 1942. She graduated with high honors of course, number 4 in her class of thirteen. She continued her education by taking engineering, machine design and drafting courses at the Stevens War Institute Training School, part of Stevens Institute of Technology, also in Hoboken in 1943 and 1944.
Mary met her future husband John Robert (Bob) Mance when she was immediately hired by Bob’s father, John Christopher Mance as a secretary and junior engineer at the family business, Mance Corporation, Mechanical Contractors, NYC in March of 1948. The company was then just 8 years old.
Mary Elizabeth Deckers and John Robert Mance were married in July of 1952, in a military chapel at Fort Rucker, Alabama where Bob was an Army lieutenant and commander of a tank squadron, training for deployment to the Korean conflict. The Korean War ended before Bob’s deployment, and Bob ended up at Mance Corporation as well. He eventually took over the family engineering business and Mary was promoted to the challenging job of raising the family that came next for Bob and Mary. Mary also filled her rich life in other ways. She attended Traphagen School of Fashion and designed and created the family clothes for years. She acquired a personal computer and became computer proficient in 1984. She attended Briarcliff College and studied Art History and Contemporary Novels.
Job one however, was the growing Mance family in Chappaqua, New York. Weekends found the family with hobbies and friends at Sleepy Hollow Country Club, where the family held a membership for over 40 years. Mom’s amazing sense of humor always left family and friends in good spirits. She was mischievous, hilarious, and contagiously fun. After Bob and Mary completed their important respective careers, they retired to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida in 1987. They joined the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, enjoyed golf, water sports, bridge and entertaining with many dear friends. They also went on forty-three cruises during their retirement years.
Bob and Mary Mance were a role model couple and in deep, deep love for 65 years until Bob passed away in 2017. Missing and surviving Mary (and Bob and Russ) are her daughter Kimberly (Scott Blauvelt) of St. Augustine and Austin, son Craig (Jody) of Cape Cod and son Doug (Laura) of Tucson. Six granddaughters, three grandsons, and twelve greats are all also part of Mary and Bob’s legacy. We will miss Mary and all those who have left this physical place, but we know her heavenly reunion will be joyful.
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