Her granddaughter described Mary's arrival in Saranac Lake in a family history written in 1989, saying that Mary was “too weak and sick to get out of bed, [she] had to force herself to eat, starting with a teaspoon of food at every meal and slowly, day by day, adding to that amount.” After spending seven years taking the cure in Saranac Lake, she was considered cured and returned home to New York.
Her return home was to a stressful living situation, which was difficult for a woman just recovered from TB and coming off of seven years of convalescence. Just over a month later, she left her family in the night to return to Saranac Lake.
She met Donald Seney sometime after her return north, and Frederick filed for divorce. She and Donald had three daughters, Kay, Jean, and Sue, despite doctors' warnings that Mary was too old and too infirm for a successful pregnancy.
Mary eventually worked for Newberry's Department Store, and she and her family would split their years between Florida and Saranac Lake. She also worked for a department store in Florida during the winters. Her granddaughter remembered her as "always stylishly dressed, and very talkative, but not necessarily about herself.” Mary died in Lake Placid on February 10, 1976.
Thank you for sharing the story of your mother, Jean! We hope others will take inspiration in her strength and determination in the face of tuberculosis and other obstacles in life.
To read Mary’s story as written by her granddaughter, visit our wiki!
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