Mary Drake Wickliffe, of Greenville

Ms. MaryGREENVILLE, KY., — Mary Drake Wickliffe, of Greenville, Ky., was born Mary Elizabeth Drake in Detroit, MI, daughter of John William Drake and Hattie Millard Drake, second child of three. 

Shortly after Mary’s birth, her father left his job at a Detroit tire factory to take over the Drake family farm at the south end of Muhlenberg County, KY.  Farm life during the Great Depression gave Mary the strong work ethic and frugal nature that served her well her whole life. She graduated high school in Greenville, KY and, after two years at Sullins College in Bristol, VA, returned home to teach school. Soon after returning home, she married Greenville native, Paul Reynolds Wickliffe, Jr. in 1951.  After the wedding, they moved to New Jersey, eventually settling in Summit, in order for her husband to pursue a lifetime career as an electronics engineer for Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ.  When not raising their son, Paul III, Mary pursued her interests in painting and art as a founding member of the Summit Arts Center. She went on to complete her BFA degree graduating Summa Cum Laude from Drew University in 1977.  Following her graduation, she went on to curate exhibitions at the Summit Arts Center (now The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey) for the next twenty years.  In recent years, she developed a body of work centered on the study of flowers (see GALLERY at wickliffemedia.com). Her works were widely shown in gallery and corporate shows from New Jersey to Florida. After a year and a half struggle, she succumbed to the effects of lymphoma.

Mary is survived by her son, Paul R Wickliffe III, daughter-in-law Roseanna Vitro Wickliffe, and her granddaughter, Sarah Elizabeth Wickliffe.

She will be laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery, Greenville, KY on April 15, 2017. Donations to her frequent charities are welcome: The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, Planned Parenthood and the Central Presbyterian Church of Summit, NJ.

 

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