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Hospice gardens to be dedicated to the late Mary Macsherry


As flowers bloom in the backyard of Hospice of Jefferson County at Ellis Farm, so will the memory of Mary H. Macsherry.

The invitation-only official dedication of the Mary Macsherry Reflective Garden will take place Thursday for the Macsherry family, Hospice staff and donors who made memorial contributions to the nonprofit in Mrs. Macsherry’s name.

“She liked nature and the outdoors,” said Diana K. Woodhouse, Hospice chief executive officer. “We thought that would be a perfect place in Mary’s name.”

The garden is just off a walkway that arches around a pond in the back of the lot. Plants that can stand up to north country winters, a solar fountain and lights, a birdbath and a variety of flowers have been placed throughout the garden. A stone wall borders the garden and back woods of the property. Mrs. Woodhouse said the stone was left over from when a farm was on the property, and volunteers helped reconstruct part of the wall for the garden.

All eight patient rooms and others in the residence have been named in honor of various contributors, including Mrs. Macsherry and her husband, Richard R., longtime Hospice supporters. The waiting area inside the front entrance was named in honor of the pair. The garden isn’t visible from the front of the pond as cattails have taken over the pond. Mrs. Woodhouse said Hospice is working toward a maintenance plan to take care of that issue and for upkeep of the landscape throughout the 5-acre lot at 1398 Gotham St.

After Mrs. Macsherry died in December, the family announced it would give a total of $4 million to local organizations, including Hospice, in her honor. Mrs. Woodhouse said those funds have been put into an endowment fund, so the interest could be used for future agency needs.

She said Hospice wanted to honor Mrs. Macsherry in a way that reflected her dedication to Hospice and provided serenity for residents and their families. Mrs. Woodhouse said staff, including herself, also enjoy walks back there.

“It’s just a place to remember nature is there and reflect on what’s happening,” Mrs. Woodhouse said. “A lot of people in the north country are outdoors people. Lots of people have been interested in their own gardens. They can still have that connection here. This is like their backyard. This is a perfect piece of property for this.”

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