Mary D. Wirths

FALMOUTH — Mary Deering Wirths, 96, of Falmouth died in Portland on Wednesday, April 25, 2012.

She was born in Augusta on April 12, 1916, the first child of Arthur Lowell and Freda Bowman Deering. Her father was the former Dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Maine in Orono. Mary attended Orono schools and graduated from Orono High School in 1934. She graduated from the University of Maine, majoring in Home Economics, in 1938. While there, she was elected to the Sophomore Eagles and All Maine Women, honorary groups recognizing leadership. She was president of the Women’s Athletic Association, secretary of her class and in the Chi Omega Sorority.

After graduation, she attended Cornell University, becoming an assistant Home Demonstration Agent for the Extension Service in Erie County, Buffalo, N.Y., a position she held from 1938 to 1939. Following that, she was the Home Demonstration Agent for Broome County in Binghamton. It was there that she met her husband, Roland Maurice Wirths, who was then working for the Binghamton Sun. The couple married at Cornell in July 1941. Mary then moved to Bayside, Long Island where she worked until her husband returned to New York, following his service in the Army’s 62nd Coast Artillery Unit.

In 1946, the couple moved to Portland where Mr. Wirths began his career with the Portland Press Herald, initially in the editorial department and later editor of the sports department for the Press Herald, Evening Express and Sunday Telegram. Mrs. Wirths taught evening school for Portland schools in 1946 and 1947, then in various capacities in the Falmouth school system. She continued to live on Blackstrap Road following her husband’s death in December 1979. In January of 2011, she moved to Falmouth House at Ocean View, where she developed new friendships and enjoyed the care and attention she received from staff as well as lifelong friends who were frequent visitors.

She was a member and deaconess of the Falmouth Congregational Church, a member of Greater Portland Landmarks, active in Brownies and Cub Scouts, a 4-H Club leader as well as other volunteer capacities. Mrs. Wirths was an avid reader, gardener, historian, a person who loved pets and children and had curiosity about and love for life in general.

She was predeceased by her husband and parents; her son, Roland “Mac” Wirths; a sister, Marnie Roberts of Alfred; a brother, Bob Deering of Davis, California; her sister, Helen Piper of Damariscotta; her daughter, Ann Thoits of Raymond; a grandson, Jeremy Wirths of Fort Drum, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours were held Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Blais and Hay Funeral Home, 35 Church Street, Westbrook. Funeral Services were held Monday at 10 a.m. at the Falmouth Congregational Church, 267 Falmouth Road. Internment was at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the original Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Augusta. For online condolences go to

For those who wish to do so, donations may be made to: The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, 449 Stroudwater Street, Westbrook, ME 04092.

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