Mary S Gafford

April 9, 1935March 11, 2018

Our mother passed away at home while her family kept vigil. During her remaining days, she was held and kissed and soothed. She was given so many “I love you’s” and told “don’t be afraid.” She was comforted by the knowledge that she had her Last Rights and all of her blessings. Many times Mary Ellen Strauch Gafford said that she would go “home” one day. Yes, our mother has gone, but she was reminded that she would live on in our hearts forever. She was told that we understood she was on her way home and we spoke to her of the loved ones she was soon to see - her beloved mother and father, sisters and brothers, and especially her precious son, Steve. We watched our mother’s acceptance of her illness with the same quiet acceptance she showed throughout her life. She always left everything “in God’s hands.” Our mother has been our compass, showing us the way to navigate in life, and in her dying she showed us the way and how of that, too. Dear sweet, brave Momma, you leave behind your daughters, Mary McCollough, Sue Mutter, Karen Burnett, and Ann Nursey and her husband Tom. And you leave behind your loyal husband of 61 years, Paul Gafford. Grandchildren and great grandchildren are many and were a source of abundant joy and pride for you. Home is where our mother is for she was the heart of our house. One day we will be home again, yes Mother, because home is where you await. Services will be held at Wylie Baxley Funeral Home in Merritt Island, Monday, April 2nd, at 5:00 p.m.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Gafford family.


  • Funeral Mass Monday, April 2, 2018

Mary S Gafford

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April 2, 2018

To Mary's beloved family:
I met Mary as a member of Divine Mercy's Small Group. She was such a beautiful soul, always willing to share her faith journey. Always with a smile and laugh. I offer you my deepest sympathy at the loss of this special person. Since I no longer live in Fl, I can not be there in person to share what she meant to me.
Wishing you all God's healing, in your time of sorrow.

Richard Strauch

March 17, 2018

The passing of my sister Mary brings memories of long ago
when we were kids on a farm in Wisconsin. Those were
times I will always remember with great fondness. And
Mary, I will forever remember the scar on my right
hand dating from more than 80 years ago.