Long time Bastrop resident Mary Gregory LeBlanc, 88, of Bastrop, Texas, passed away peacefully on August 21, 2020. Born Maria Gregory Papadaki on May 20, 1932, the youngest child of Gregory and Garafalia in Anapoli, Crete, Greece, the most honorable way to explain her life is in chapters. Her first chapter in Greece included surviving the Nazi occupation of Crete during World War II, losing a brother and cousin to an unexploded shell, learning sewing and fashion design, helping to raise her nephew Johnny, and earning a degree in the English language. Her second chapter began in 1964 when she emigrated to the United States. She married, raised her beloved children, and worked as a seamstress at Joske’s.
After separating from her husband, she started another life from the beginning. She did anything and everything to support and raise her life (her children) including substitute teaching, sewing, managing the Tower Theatre, and eventually catering as Mary’s Delicacies. When she was finally able to retire from raising her children, she began the final chapter of her life that included an initial focus on her community and a final focus on her flowers. Her community involvement was her way to give back to the community that supported her so much. She was an active member in Ascension Catholic Church and the Ladies of Charity and played an instrumental role in building and operating the Ladies of Charity store in Bastrop. She was also a member of the Housing Authority Board for many years.
Her flowers were her final gift to Bastrop. Known as “the flower lady” by most, many knew her only by her yard that she spent every day working in. She drank her Greek coffee every morning among her flowers, also enjoying the butterflies, birds and other wildlife drawn to them. She would then spend the rest of her day caring for her beloved gardens. Many in Bastrop will miss the personal tours through her yard as she would enthusiastically tug them by the hand to each gorgeous plant and detail where it came from and what she did to grow it. Her family will miss the taste of delicate Greek cucumbers that needed countless hours of pampering to grow in the Texas heat. Everyone knew her yard and would light up and tell the family their stories of “the flower lady” and visits when they learned she was our Mom. The family hopes the memory of her beautiful soul and her precious flowers inspires others to not only enjoy the natural beauty around them but also share that beauty with others through their own yard or a community garden to inspire the next generation of “flower ladies.”
Mary is survived by her life; three beloved children: Charles (Karey) LeBlanc, Annie (Garrett) Limmer, and George (Stacey) LeBlanc, and seven grandchildren (Sheridan, Shelby, Sydney, Gregory, Bryan, Kirtley, and Kennedy).
The family would like to thank the caretakers at New Haven Memory Care Center for taking such great care of her. We would also like to thank the nurses and staff of Serenity Hospice for their care and love shown in person through the incredible flower presentation they prepared for her through their Last Wish Program. Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the Serenity Hospice Last Wish Program, Ladies of Charity, or the charity of your choice.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary LeBlanc, please visit our floral store.