Mary Leuretha Blankenship-Rowe, at the age of 89, passed away Wednesday, April 6, 2022 at the home of her daughter with her children and other family members by her side.
Mary Leu was born July 13, 1932 in the former Women’s Hospital of Baltimore, MD, to Caroline and John Blankenship. After graduating from Elmer Wolfe High School of Union Bridge, MD, she was accepted to and began classes at the Maryland Institute of Art in the study of fine arts under the tutelage of Jacque Maroger. Mary Leu received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the spring of 1955. Currently, samples of Mary Leu’s paintings are on exhibit at the Cecil County Arts Council building in Elkton until the 27th of April 2022. Visit the Cecil County Arts Council website for more details.
As the story goes, it was Christmas season and Nelson was home on leave from the U.S. Navy. Mary Leu, accompanied by her cousin, was introduced to Nelson at the local newspaper stand in Perryville, MD. Mary Leu, being Mary Leu, decided to hold mistletoe above Nelson’s head to get that first kiss. Nelson promptly chose to be stationed in San Diego to postpone the inevitable, but from that point they were bound to each other for the rest of their lives.
Their courtship lasted several years while Mary Leu completed her education and Nelson completed his military service. They were married on September 5, 1955 in the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church of Perryville, MD. In 1957, they celebrated the birth of their first child, William N Rowe II. They went on to have four more children over the next fourteen years; Leuretha Julianne, Stephen Colley, Mary Elizabeth, and Thomas Andrew. After moving several times early in their marriage, they settled and raised their family in Colora, MD.
Mary Leu is survived by her loving children, William Rowe, Leuretha Gainey, Stephen Rowe, and Thomas Rowe; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Although Mary Leu continued to paint for her entire life, raising her children and running the household was always her primary focus.
Mary Leu was preceded in death by her husband, Nelson Rowe (May 2016); daughter, Mary Elizabeth; sister, Betty Knight; and brother, Frank Blankenship.
Funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday, April 13, 2022, 11 AM, at the Church of the Good Shepherd of Perryville, MD. Visitation for family and friends will be held Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 6 PM until 8 PM, at the Lee A. Patterson & Son Funeral Home, P.A., of Perryville, MD. Interment will be in St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Cemetery, Perryville, MD.
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