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Obituary: Mary Ellen Whaley, Flower Bowl Operator, 90

The daughter of a cider mill owner, Whaley opened the Flower Bowl after years teaching homemaking at Bethel High School.

Mary Ellen Manion Whaley, age 90, of Roxbury, CT died peacefully Friday, December 28, 2012 at her home surrounded by friends.

She was the widow of Robert E. Whaley. Mary was born in Danbury, CT, March 28, 1922, daughter of William and Edith (Fry) Manion. Her father owned a cider mill on Nashville Road in Bethel. Each year, after the apple harvest and cider season were complete, Mary Ellen and her parents would move from Bethel to Fellsmere, Florida where they would remain until late spring. As a result, she attended some schools in Bethel, but the majority of her pre-college education was received in Florida. Following High School graduation, Mary enrolled at Florida State University in Tallahassee where she received a Bachelor's degree in home economics.

After returning to Bethel she met and married Robert E. Whaley. They settled in the family home on Hickok Ave. One daughter, Dawn Ellen, was born was born to their union. For a number of years, Mary taught homemaking at Bethel High School. When her father retired from the cider mill, Mary expressed a desire to operate a flower shop. As a result the first Flower Bowl opened on Barnum Square in 1955. The business was later moved to the former cider mill property on Nashville Road where it remained in operation until 2011. In later years Mary moved with her husband to a house on family property in Roxbury. She continued to operate the flower bowl until her husband died in 2005. At that time she became semi-retired. Mary is survived by son in law Bryan Fitzgerald and her many friends. She is mourned by all who loved her. The family will receive friends at the Bethel Funeral Home, 215 Greenwood Ave., Bethel, Wednesday evening from 6:00 to 8:00.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Mary's Church, Bethel, Thursday morning at 10:00. Burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery, Bethel. Information and on line condolences at HullFuneralService.com.

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