Mary (Bridges) Engert, 96, of Wilmington, passed away at her home on Wednesday evening, January 26. “She left this life but woke up with God”
Born Mary Evelyn Bridges on July 23, 1925, she was the only child of Estelle and Arthur Bridges. She grew up in Union City NJ with her small Boston Terriers, Ginger and Smokey. Dogs were always important to her; later in life she had Suzie, Blacky, and Molly.
Mary was preceded in death by her late husband, George W. Engert, who died in 2010. Mary’s Mom, Estelle was good friends with Lulu Engert, so Mary actually was already friends with Lulu’s son, Mary’s future husband, George, at a very young age.
Mary went to Teacher’s College (1944-1945) and majored in English studies at Rutgers University graduation with a Bachelor of Arts in 1947. She became a teacher, and taught 4th grade and special education classes in public school in Dumont and Boonton, NJ.
Later she enjoyed teaching bedside at hospitals and student’s homes. Mary grew up in the First Reformed church in Hoboken and became the nursery school treasurer and a church deacon.
During WWII she sent hand knitted socks, scarves and cookies to her childhood friend, George as he served with the signal corps. Mary and George married in Dec. 1947 directly after the war, and had two children, Alan and Karen.
Her hobbies even from a young age included caring for animals; she rescued squirrels, feeding them with an eyedropper. She nursed birds, crocodiles, snakes and turtles back to health after finding them on the road. Even later in life, Mary watched online birding classes and was able to identify many garden birds.
She lived for a while in Ringwood State Park, and loved collecting ferns, rocks and shells, researching their Latin names and labeling them.
Mary and her late husband George loved gardening and produced tons of tomatoes. With her green thumb she filled her home with rock plants, African violets, and all sorts of houseplants.
Mary was a prolific cook and baker, a love she passed on to her granddaughters. She sewed most of her children’s clothes; she knit sweaters and scarves and created multiple cross stitch pieces for all her Grandkids and dogs for their births. She loved reading specifically murder thriller and cute animal stories; books were memorable gifts for all occasions for the Grandkids.
She loved traveling and made dozens of trips to Asia and Europe (all precisely documented in elaborate photo books) She visited Karen and her growing family in Jakarta, Singapore, Holland and Belgium, making side trips with Karen to Scotland, Austria, France, England, and Spain.
Mary has enjoyed living in an in-law apartment in Karen and Peter’s home in Wilmington MA; Daily calls to her dear friend Stina and having coffee with Karen were cherished parts of her daily routine. Mary had the special privilege of twice holding her brand new Great Grandchild, Oliver George who was born on Dec. 22, 2021.
Mary is survived by two children, Alan Engert, and Karen Luttik (Peter Luttik); four grandchildren, Paul Arthur Luttik (Zeynep Luttik), Kristin Nicole Luttik, Timothy Alan Luttik, and Kimberly Petra Luttik; and one great-grandchild, Oliver George Luttik.
A funeral service will be held at the Graham Funeral Home, 3 Arlington Rd., Woburn on Monday, January 31 at 12:00 Noon. An hour of visitaion will be prior to the service at the funeral home from 11:00-12:00. Contributions in Mary’s memory may be made to Lighthouse Animal Shelter, 596 Hathaway Rd., New Bedford, MA 02740 (www.lighthouseanimalshelter.org)