CHARLTON: Mary Lucille (Poff) McKinstry “Mary Lou”, 99 of Charlton, passed away April 26,2023 at the Overlook in Charlton.
Mary Lou leaves her 4 children: Gregory Leroy McKinstry and fiancé Sandy Bremer, Susan Lisa McKinstry Hapgood and her husband Peter, Victoria SF. McKinstry, Cindy Lou McKinstry; 6 grandchildren, and 8 greatgrandchildren; Gabriel Kent Simonelli and his two children Dean and Jake, and their mother Dana Simonelli, Meghan McKinstry Mazzaferro and her husband Vincent and their two children Molly and Ellie, Sean Morgan McKinstry, Jesslyn Hapgood Thrasher and husband Alan and their two children Riley and Luke. Sara Jane McKinstry Diaz and husband Manny and their two children Orlando and Parker. Luis McKinstry and his companion Aphroditi Panagiotopoulou. She leaves many nieces and nephews in VA on her sibling’s side. She was especially close to her nieces Deborah Brown and Judy Bird. She also leaves 2 nieces from her sister-in-law Judy Stillwagon, Nancy and Carrie Stillwagon in New Hampshire. Mary Lou also leaves and loved Deborah Coddington McKinstry, mother of her grandchildren. Deborah was always kind, caring, and helpful and visited Mary often.
Mary Lou was born in Salem, Virginia daughter to the late Harvey Leornard Poff and Tennessee Powell (James) Poff. She was predeceased by her daughter Rebecca Marie McKinstry and her husband John Sacramone, and her 5 siblings Buddy, Claudine, Jackie, Judy and Cotton.
Mary Lou was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She was very active and supportive with all her children and grandchildren in all their endeavors, and she was very proud of each and every one of them. Family always came first.
She worked all her life. Her last job was at the Orchard Inn Sturbridge as the front desk clerk for 25 years. She was active in her community and in her social life as well. Mary Lou was an avid reader and loved the library. She loved golf, playing cards, dancing, shopping, and vacationing in Florida or the Maine coast with the family or her best friends Sally, Micky, and Judy.
Mary Lou loved lobster and shrimp cocktail. She also loved to go to the Plainfield, CT horse racetrack with her companion Jim Prokos, and Foxwoods with her daughter Cindy Lou. She also loved thrift shops.
Mary Lou took good care of herself, walked daily and didn’t smoke. Her hair, nails, and makeup were always important, and always presented herself with style, grace and dignity. Her favorite hairdresser salon was Chez Joan and her favorite colors were pink or purple.
Mary Lou had an infectious laugh, and when she laughed, we all did. People use to say I would recognize that McKinstry voice and laugh anywhere. Mary Lou also never lost her southern accent and she was a very sweet beautiful southern bell. She was very humble and kind and always put family first. She sent cards every holiday even Halloween. Mary Lou also loved to cook and bake. Christmas was her favorite holiday and she made homemade peanut butter fudge with walnuts, Christmas cookies, and cake pops with frosting and sprinkles. Our favorites, pineapple upside down cake, strawberry shortcake with homemade biscuits and whipped cream, homemade mac n’cheese and southern fried chicken.
Mary Lou loved all music from Liberace her favorite, to country musician Charlie Pride, she loved Polish and Greek picnics and Polish and Greek music, and of course all the big band classics. Mary Lou also loved her grandsons Sean and Luis's original music and was very supportive. Mary Lou also loved animals and her cat Trixie.
Memorial donations may be made in her name to any animal shelter you choose.
There is no wake or calling hours. Mary Lou will be remembered in a private family setting at a later date.
Belanger Bullard Funeral Home, 51 Marcy St. Southbridge, MA 01550, is directing arrangements.
An online guestbook is available at www.BelangerFuneralHome.com