Mary Elizabeth Isherwood

September 15, 1947May 11, 2017

Mary Elizabeth Hayden Isherwood Oakdale (b. 09/15/47 m. 07/17/63 d. 05/11/2017)

This amazing woman was born 15 September 1947 and married the equally amazing David T Isherwood 17 July 1963. Don’t trouble yourself with the math, she was 15 and they were married for nearly 54 years! Her life included 3 children, Kevin (married to Sara) living in Seattle, Karin (married to Roxie) living in Wellington, New Zealand and Kristin Dombrowski living in Oakdale, CT. Mary, or Nonee as she was called, was blessed with grandchildren living nearby: Ashley, Nicholas, Madison and baby Geoffrey (d. 1995); and two step-grandchildren living in New Zealand: Felix and Sefton. Mary had 5 older siblings: Elmer (Skip), Robert (Bob) and Michael (Mike) Hayden, Grace Lively and Miki Fielding (d. 2014). Born to Sarah and Elmer Hayden she grew up and went to school in North Hampton, MA, and was married in Edwards Church. David was in the Coast Guard for 27 years, and the family moved from station to station until they settled in Oakdale in 1977. Mary worked at the Coast Guard Academy Exchange for 25 years where she made many special, life-long friends. After retiring, she joined Dr. Richard Benton’s office for part-time work and retired (again) when he did. Mary was a straight shooter and claimed a Ph.D. from the School of Hard Knocks; she was a people person who treasured family, friends and cruising, and not necessarily in that order. Mary made friends wherever she went and her Christmas card list was a thing of beauty. In their retirement Mary and David enjoyed cruising the oceans and the friendships they made on the high seas. Mary was an avid reader, in fact, she supplied the Raymond Hill Library with books! She loved hanging out with her grandchildren, passing out sage advice and hosting family dinners. In July 2014 Mary began a heroic battle with lung cancer, metastatic to the brain, which she bravely fought until May 11, 2017. When diagnosed, Mary chose to do as many cruises as she could and declared they prolonged her life. She had a strong belief in God and that guided her throughout her illness. Mary had wonderful care at the Smilow Cancer Hospital care centers in New Haven and in Waterford, and while in the Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, and the family thanks all of the people who cared for Mary. A very special thank you goes to the Oakdale Fire Company and their ambulance. Those who know Mary won’t be surprised to know that she had some clear wishes, one of them was that she did not want a viewing or funeral; instead there will be a celebration of her life at the family’s convenience. Donations, please, to the Smilow Cancer Hospital 20 York St, New Haven, CT 06510 and or Masonicare Home Health & Hospice 22 Masonic Avenue Wallingford, CT 06492. Please visit to leave an online tribute or condolence.


Mary Elizabeth Isherwood

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Dennis Tardiff

January 23, 2018

Dear Dave and Family, I was so saddened to just read of Mary's passing. I know how hard it is to lose a loved one so close to your heart. I have fond memories of Mary at the Academy Exchange and of you Dave. Always remember the good times as they will help brighten your day as time goes on. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.

Kristin Dombrowski

June 9, 2017

Fly High my Angel, my Mom, my best friend. There hasnt been a day I havent shed a tear for you or listened to your voice that was recorded for Ashley. I will make you proud. Mary Jane I love you so.much

Roxie Orr

June 4, 2017

Dearest Dave and all the family,
Sending sympathy for the passing of Mary; for the loss and the huge hole that can only be filled with memories and Mary's legacy.
We also celebrate, as is her wish, her kindness and generosity, her zest for life, and her lovely smile.
With much love always, Roxie, Felix and Sefton

Cheryl Fuller-Egan

May 25, 2017

Mary was a loyal friend to my Mom, Marge Fuller, and they were great buddies working together at the Coast Guard Academy. Thank you for sharing her with all of us.

Donna Yonkoske

May 24, 2017

Uncle Dave - I was very sadden to hear of my favorite Aunt Mary's passing. She was such a real person and gave it to you straight. I know that the good lord above is wondering what he got himself into with both my Aunt Mary and my mother up there.

To Kristen, Kevin and Karen - I have been in your shoes and know your loss. I hope it helps to understand that she is no longer in pain.

My deepest condolences to you all.

With much love - The Alaska Gang - Donna & Dale Yonkoske and kids

Lucia & Dave Troillet

May 23, 2017

Dave and family,
It has taken me over a week since I heard of Mary's passing to get my thoughts together. I was so lucky to have met and form a friendship with Mary. I could always count on a good laugh and hug from her. I considered her my birthday sister and was so tickled by the fact she kept the card I gave her for her 60th birthday. She was a rare, unique soul. She will be forever in my heart, and you are in my prayers.

"Keep the party going till I join the fun, Mary."

Annie Fotiadis

May 23, 2017

I cherish the ornament of the light house that adorns my Christmas tree every year, Yes, I use the table now instead of the sheet on the floor when I make my Greek cheese pie and I fold every box of butter instead of just throwing it in the trash. (Mary spent 5 hours with me making French toast for The first Oakdale fire company breakfast). These are only a few of the Mary -isms that I share smiling. Eternal are the memories made with my friend.. your smile will always be with me in moments unknown ! Dave ,Kevin ,Karin ,Kristin Ashley , Maddie Nick . I know you carry her heart with you wherever you go

Mary and Bob Lavin

May 22, 2017

So sorry to hear of Mary's passing. The world is a little dimmer now.

May 18, 2017

Dave and family,

Sorry for your loss. Mary was such a sweet person, always with a smile and a hug. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Dave and Sheri McHugh
Norwich, CT

Patty Franco

May 18, 2017

Wow! What a beautiful tribute to Mary. My parents were good friends with Mary and Dave and I have very fond memories of them. I last saw Mary at Mohegan Sun a few years ago. She was screaming my name across the casino. I came to a screeching halt and Mary came running up to see me. I was surprised when she asked if I remembered her. Of course I did! She was always one of my favorite friends of my parents. She always made us laugh and was fun to be around. I was so sorry to hear she was ill, but not surprised she was planning to kick cancer's butt! She fought hard and gave her family and friends more time because of it. I am thankful and honored to have known Mary and value her as one of my favorite people in life. My heart goes out to Dave, Karen, Kristin, Kevin and the rest of her family and friends.