Mary Dalton, 77, of Wilmington passed away peacefully on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 at Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Life Care Center after countless friends and family visited to say their hellos and their goodbyes.
Mary was born Dec. 28, 1938 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the daughter of the late John Patrick Gilbride and Bridgett Diffley Gilbride. She is preceded in death by her devoted husband of 28 years, John “Tommy” Thomas Dalton.
Mary graduated from Vassar Brothers Hospital School of Nursing in Poughkeepsie, New York and became a certified Registered Nurse, allowing her to put her passion for people, their care and their mental health at the center of her life. She worked in Poughkeepsie, New York at Hudson River Psychiatric Center for over 25 years as a nursing school instructor and head nurse, and volunteered with the American Cancer Society and with Lower Cape Fear Hospice in Wilmington.
Mary most recently worked at Power of Play in Wilmington for 14 years as an after-school director until the Wednesday prior to her passing. Mary cherished her time with the children participating in the program, loved all her co-workers as family and brightened all of their days.
Mary’s boundless optimism, infectious smile, serenity and healing touch gave her a calming and warming bedside manner when caring for her patients, her mother and her husband. Mary and Tommy were the consummate hosts that loved to entertain and make their friends laugh, and her larger-than-life personality made every person feel welcome in their home.
Mary loved to dance, spend time at the beach and, most of all, be in the company of her family and friends, who she deeply treasured. Mary was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, caretaker and dear friend who will be missed by all.
Left to cherish her memory are her two sons, Brock Xavier Dalton and wife Dawn and Thomas William Manders and wife Diane; three grandchildren, Jennifer, Maya and Jackson; brother, Gerard Anthony Gilbride and wife Michele; and numerous nieces, nephews, other family and special friends.
A celebration of her life will be held at her home later this year.
The family would like to thank the staff at Lower Cape Fear Hospice and New Hanover Regional Medical Center staff on the tenth floor for her excellent care and their compassion, which knows no bounds.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation through www.TMCfunding.com.
Please leave online condolences for the family at Wilmington Funeral and Cremation Service.
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