Vernon- Mary Louise “Mary Lou” Buchanan, 81, a longtime resident of Terrace Street passed away peacefully Monday night, July 29, 2019 at Vernon Green Nursing Home where she had been a resident since February 2015.
Mary Lou was born in Bellows Falls on August 23, 1937 the daughter of Joseph and Amelia (Poluchov) Belczak. She was raised on Williams Street in BF attending local schools graduating from Bellows Falls High School with the Class of 1955.
She worked most of her career as a bookkeeper for her late husband’s businesses, Leonard Buchanan Painting and West River Paint and Supply Co. When she first moved to Brattleboro Mary Lou had been employed in the Law Offices of Fitts & Olson and worked as head teller at First Vermont Bank.
Active civically she was a longtime member of the Brattleboro Historical Society and is credited in her historical research of many of the homes in the Terrace, Tyler and North Street neighborhood. She was also an active volunteer for many years at Brooks Memorial Library.
For many years with her husband she was on the Brattleboro downtown beautification Committee and every year assisted with the downtown floral arrangements and displays.
An authority on gardening, Mary Lou attained the distinguished status of Master Gardener and through the years kept beautiful flower gardens at her home on the corner of Tyler and Walnut Street. Many in the community sought her horticulture knowledge.
Of her leisure time activities, she enjoyed crafts and art, mostly working with colored pencils. In her later years she enjoyed working with adult coloring books. Mary Lou was also an accomplished knitter. She enjoyed travel and always looked forward to her annual trips she took with her two sisters to destinations unknown.
A lifelong Catholic, she was a communicant of Saint Michaels Roman Catholic Church and a former parishioner of Sacred Heart Church in Bellows Falls.
On August 26, 1961 at Sacred Heart Church she was married to Leonard Bruce “Lenny” Buchanan who predeceased her on April 8, 2006.
Survivors include one son, Ralph Buchanan of Brattleboro, two sisters, Frances “Fran” Church of Brattleboro, and JoAnne Merrill (Richard) of Flatrock, NC, one brother, Steven Belczak (Virginia) of Westminster, a granddaughter, Samantha Salamone (Robert) of West Dover, and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by a son, Timothy Buchanan who died on September 13, 2005.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday at 10:00 AM at Saint Michael’s Catholic Church. Committal Rites and burial will follow in Morningside Cemetery where she will be laid to rest next to her husband and son.
Following the committal services a reception will be held at the Elks Home on Putney Road.
Friends may call at the Atamaniuk Funeral Home on Thursday from 4 to 6 P.M.
Memorial contributions in Mary Lou’s name may be made to the Windham County Humane Society, PO Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302.
Mary Lou’s family would like to convey their heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the entire staff at Vernon Green for the wonderful care she received during her stay at the facility and to the medical staff at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.