Mary Heath Sweet

Last Update: 11 January 2004

Photo Gallery 7

Following are photos taken at Mary Heath’s Memorial Service in Monterey, VA, 10 August 2003, and at the exhibit of her art work, dishes, and many other things that was in the Mountainview Room of the Highland County Library for a month and a half thereafter. The program handed out at this service can be downloaded here.   [173 kB]   Unattributed photos are by the author.

Ann Wefer, Harriet Whitelaw, Peggy Bird, and Susan Webb viewing the photos on display prior to the service.   Photo by Rick Webb.

John Sweet opened the service by welcoming everyone and telling a few anecdotes, one of them about his grandfather’s love for sailing ships. Here I am reading Sea Fever by John Masefield. Mother’s request for this was likely inspired by her father.

Daughter-in-law Char Sweet first read The Sun is Rising by W. R. Hunt and here is reading High Flight by John Magee, Jr.   Both photos by Rick Webb.

After the poetry readings, friends and relatives were asked to speak. Here, Polly Sweet Wagner presents her remembrances of her Aunt Mary Heath. Polly is the daughter of my Uncle Frank, my father’s oldest brother.
Photo by Rick Webb.

Next, Jeanne Reedy, Mother’s Chief of Staff (or Head Angel) spoke very movingly of their relationship over the past six years.

Then Connie Young, whose mother was also a teacher at the Peking American School when my mother was there, spoke at length about the school and her long friendship with Mary Heath.   Both photos by Rick Webb.

Nan Goland and Char Sweet playing Amazing Grace.     Photo by Rick Webb.

Harriet Whitelaw, one of Mother’s helpers, signs the guest book.

The buffet table is set, awaiting the service to be over.   Both photos by Rick Webb.

Thaine Billingsley was Mother’s physician from the time she moved to Monterey until he retired in December 2002.

Char visits with Susan Applegate after the service has ended.   Both photos by Rick Webb.

The geranium still lives but is not as lush as it used to be. Above, fancy shoes from long ago.   Both photos by Rick Webb.

A sampling of Mother’s art works. At right is a Chinese silk tapestry. The rest are more-or-less contemporary works that she collected in recent years.

Several items of pewter ware and china. The cream and sugar service was used every day. I remember them from early childhood and the sugar bowl was on her table the day she died. The green china was used only when we had company.

More pewter ware and china and several other items. The grey and brown china at left was her everyday table service, though not when I was a child! In front of the china are several ivory items. The one closest to the dishes is a sheath containing a knife and a set of chop sticks, all of ivory. The rosettes on the wall are silk tapestries.

Donkey Boy, at upper right, is a lithograph by Thomas Handforth that was part of a one-man show at The Smithsonian in 1938. In the center of the table is a cloisonne smoking set, with compartments for cigarettes, several small ashtrays and an alcohol-fueled lighter that could be lit once with a match and then left burning for the evening. Sadly, my father was a heavy smoker, which is one reason he he died young.

More Chinese artwork.

Overview of the southeast corner of the exhibit room. The chair and table are Chinese and are very heavy. I do not know what type of wood they are but I will try to learn that and anything else I can about them.

Overview of the northeast corner of the exhibit room. The chair is one of a set that Mom and Dad had made while they were in Oklahoma in the mid-30s. They are walnut with split-hickory seats. They were made by an elderly Indian named Go Back Christie for $4 each, or so I was told.

This is the glass display case from the main library where the most fragile and valuable items were shown. It is a bit hard to see clearly due to the reflections. At upper left is a French clock from the 18th century. It has a carrying handle and was the pocket watch of its day. Second from right at the bottom is an ivory statue of Guan-Yin, the goddess of mercy. She is supposed to bring peace and good luck to those around her. If Mother had a favorite piece among all her things, Guan-Yin may have been it.