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Obituary: Mary Walden Jeffers

Mary Walden Bell (“Wally”) Jeffers, beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died April 19, 2013, at the age of 99, in Bloomfield, CT.

Wally was born in Asheville NC in 1914.  She was the eldest child of Mary Walden (Williamson) Bell and Landon Covington Bell. She grew up with six younger brothers in Columbus, OH, and graduated from Wellesley College in 1936. In 1940, Wally married Walter W. Jeffers, an officer of what is now Citibank, whom she had met on a blind date while in college.  They resided in Plandome and were active in the Manhasset Congregational Church and in civic affairs.  When Walter died, in 1989, she moved to Bloomfield, CT.

Wally is survived by three children: Christopher Jeffers, of Hartford, CT; Landon Jeffers, of South Huntington, NY; and Louise Jeffers Brami of Lexington, MA. A second daughter, Gabrielle W. Mangion, died in 1979.  She is also survived by six grandchildren: Jonathan Mangion of Galway, Ireland; Sarah Mangion of Fairfax, CA; Alex Jeffers of New York, NY; Natalie Jeffers of Copenhagen, Denmark; Penelope Jeffers of Cambridge, MA; Julia Brown of Merrick, NY; and Elisabeth Brami of Lexington, MA. Another grandson, Joel Mangion, pre-deceased her.  In addition, she is survived by six great-grandchildren.

One of Wally’s early and lifelong interests was travel.  Her adventurous spirit took her, by boat and plane, to the British Isles and continental Europe, Greece and Turkey, Latin America, Africa, and India and Nepal.  She was an avid painter, reader and devotee of crossword puzzles.  Only a few months ago, culminating a lifetime of reading and fulfilling a long-held ambition, she read War and Peace.  Above all, throughout her life Wally devoted her time and attention to her family and friends, and she died contentedly and peacefully, surrounded by them.  Of her entire full and happy life, she often declared, simply, “I’m a very lucky lady.”

A memorial service was held in Bloomfield on April 25.  The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Doctors without Borders.