North Providence – Mary E. Manzie, 91, passed away peacefully Sunday, August 11, 2019 at home surrounded by the love and light of her family. Born in Newport News, VA, a daughter of the late Ernest M. and Mary E. (Emory) Manzie, she had lived in Arizona for 22 years and Virginia for 35 years before moving to North Providence 7 years ago.
She lived her life on her own terms and was an excellent model for the four strong, independent women she raised. She overcame a lot of adversity and achieved so much in her 91 years.
As the oldest of eight children, she helped her mother raise her younger siblings, as her dad worked long hours at the Newport News shipyard during the Great Depression and WWII. She left home at age 17 to attend nursing school in W Va., fully expecting to be sent overseas to care for soldiers wounded in battle. Upon graduation, the war had ended and thankfully they were not needed to tend wounded soldiers.
Now unencumbered, Mary moved from West Virginia to New York City with her nursing school roommate to expand their horizons. She worked as nurse in the ER, the OR, and even at Radio City Music Hall.
In 1956, while on vacation with a friend in Arizona, she met and soon married her husband. She relocated to the Phoenix, AZ where she worked as an OR nurse and had the children she’d always wanted.
She raised four girls, mostly on her own, and loved and inspired her five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She taught all of them to stand up for what they believed and to achieve whatever they aspired to do.
Mary became one of the first nurse practitioners in the country and helped establish inpatient hospice programs for veterans while working at the Veteran’s Administration in Prescott, AZ and Salem, VA. She was active in Toastmistress in Arizona where she strived to overcome her lifelong shyness and ended up serving as president. After retirement, she enjoyed her grandchildren and her friends in the Red Hat Society.
She epitomized the Red Hat Society philosophy, always styling in her own way and doing what she wanted to do. You always knew where you stood with her, and even when you disagreed, you knew she loved you. Her strength, determination and love is her legacy.
She is survived by four daughters, Renee Stendel of Lincoln, Debra Hagy (Matthew) of Angier, NC, Laura Griesbach (Paul) of Powhatan, VA, and Shelly Murphy (Bob) of Lincoln; three sisters, Rose Anne Kimmons of Salem, VA, Carol Jean Fournier of Warren and Dorothy Lytle of Poquoson, VA; one brother, Robert Manzie of Newport News, VA; four grandchildren, Jessica Pope of Chesapeake, VA, Eric Davis of Lawton, OK, Stephanie Phillips of Powhatan, VA, and Patrick Murphy of Middletown; two great grandchildren, Cameron and Sophia Beauchamp, both of Chesapeake, VA; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was the grandmother of the late Sean Davis, the sister of the late Ernest M. Manzie, Jr., William Manzie and Louise Manzie, and the mother-in-law of the late Jeff Stendel. Mary also leaves her beloved and dedicated sentry cat, Luna.
Per Mary’s wishes, all services will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mary’s memory can be made to the Fain Center Hematology Clinic, Miriam Hospital, 164 Summit Avenue, Providence, RI 02906 would be appreciated. For Guest Book, please visit www.bellowsfuneralchapel.com. Arrangements
Fain Center Hematology Clinic, Miriam Hospital
164 Summit Avenue, Providence RI 02906