Mary McNutt, a long-time resident of Paso Robles, died suddenly on Jan. 23 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Mary was born in Graham, Texas, in 1929.
At the age of 8, she traveled to California with her parents Roy and Linnie Martin and her three brothers, William, Cadman, and Talmadge. The family first settled in King City before moving to Paso Robles. She graduated in 1947 from Paso Robles High School and attended San Jose State before returning to Paso Robles to marry Ray Pelton. Their son, Martin, was born in 1959.
Mary was widowed in 1960 after Ray was killed in a car accident. At the time of Ray’s death she was the proprietor of The Vogue, a ladies dress shop. She met Dean McNutt when they were standing in line at Dauth Leisy’s grocers. Dean had recently lost his young wife and was raising his daughter with the help of his gentle mother. They married within a year settling in the house on Spring Street with their two children.
Soon afterward Dean was elected to the Justice Court. In his role as a judge, he sometimes performed weddings in the living room of 1908 Spring. Mary served as a witness for these impromptu ceremonies — sometimes improvising bridal bouquets.
She was “the ice cream lady” to Paso Robles’ elementary schools (a role her children thought was special). She volunteered with the Camp Fire Girls, the Boy Scouts and for the PTA. She was also a member of Plymouth Congregational Church where she taught Sunday school.
Mary worked at the Paso Robles Bookshop for many years in both of its downtown locations. She sustained and cared for her family and was widowed again in 2006. She continued to look after her life-long friends well into her eighth decade.
On her 90th birthday, she moved to Idaho Falls to be near her son. She is dearly missed by her friends and family.
She is survived by her son, Martin Pelton, and her daughter Stacey McNutt.
No services are planned at this time.