Mary Wilson Brady, 96, died peacefully at home in New York City on Friday with her son and daughter by her side. She was the mother of Nicki Wilson of Great Barrington and the grandmother of Rebecca Sellon. She was a frequent visitor to the Berkshires.
Born Dec. 28, 1920, in Orange, New Jersey, Mary was a force of nature, an athlete, an ardent Democrat, a fighter for injustice, an early NAACP volunteer and generous to all in need. She had a code of ethics rarely seen in today’s world. She was honest, principled and, as a 16-year-old, turned down college scholarships during the Depression without a complaint in order to support her mother and two siblings. Again, as a young widow with two small children, she worked hard at two jobs in order to support her family while, at the same time, she drove women to visit their husbands in prison. She was a giver. She never looked for accolades, but did what she felt was right.
She married Ray Brady, who was successful as both a magazine editor and as the first business correspondent for the CBS Nightly News, where he won an Emmy. Together they enjoyed an exciting life in New York City. She was adored by her family and had many friends. She was particularly delighted when her toddler great-grandchildren were brought to visit her. She loved children. Mary had dementia at the end of her life, but was fortunate to be able to stay in her own home with her husband and be attended by truly wonderful aides who took care of her every need. She was feisty in her old age and kept everyone on their toes. When she passed, one of her aides said, “The fire has now gone out of the house.” She was partially right, but Mary’s passion for equality is a flame that can never be extinguished. Her values, her courage and her love will continue to burn brightly for a long time to come.