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Mary Runnels Scerra, 78, formerly of Auburn NH, passed away peacefully at Seasons of Danvers on Thursday, December 29, 2022. Mary was born in Gardiner, Maine on July 6, 1944 and was the daughter of the late Leslie and Margaret (Cole) Runnels.
Mary graduated from Gorham State Teachers College and started out her career teaching at Cape Elizabeth High School, where she eventually became the chair of the English Department. Her love of learning, theater, and literature drove her to pursue her Doctorate in Education from Boston University. She went on to enjoy a long career in higher education in local NH colleges starting as the Dean of White Pines College in Chester NH, and eventually moving with her husband and young daughter to Auburn, NH to accept the position of President of the college; during her tenure there she was responsible for moving the program from a 2 to 4 year college. She spent several years toward the end of her career as the Dean of Manchester Community Technical College. Mary touched the lives of many students and faculty over the years as an educator, mentor, and friend. Mary always maintained her Mainer roots through her love of a good lobster roll from Dimillo’s and visiting the ocean. She spent her leisure time reading, antiquing and collecting, creating photo books, gardening, and spending time with her daughter including leading Girl Scouts and coaching Odyssey of the Mind. In her basement was a home library pristinely catalogued with thousands of books that she expanded upon constantly. She loved animals and had pets of all kinds. Mary was known for her kind disposition and willingness to go out of her way to help and care for others. Her faith was important to her and she spent several years as a licensed minister and pastor. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.
Mary was predeceased by her late husband Howard Grant Scerra in 2010. She is survived by her daughter Megan Scerra and her wife Tasha Ferguson of Peabody MA, and her two grandchildren Wyatt and Wells. She is also survived by her brother Jeffrey Runnels and his wife Helen of South Portland ME, and two nieces Sara Runnels of Westwood, MA and Jennifer Runnels of Marston Mills, MA.
A memorial service will be held at McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield, MA on Friday, January 6, 2023 at 11:30am. Visitation prior to the service beginning at 10:30am. Relatives and friends invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a contribution to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Friday, January 6, 2023
10:30 - 11:30am (Eastern time)
Friday, January 6, 2023
Starts at 11:30am (Eastern time)
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