Grandma Mary: A Quilt for Every Baby at Sheridan Memorial

Mary Edwards made this special quilt for the Women’s and Children’s Services at Sheridan Memorial Hospital before she moved to Oregon.  She is standing with Linda Benth, Women’s & Children’s Services Manager who says, “Mary was a very generous person, giving her time and energy to create beautiful baby quilts for our babies.  She and her quilts have created a legacy of caring here at Sheridan Memorial Hospital. We will miss her.” (photo courtesy SMH)
Mary Edwards made this special quilt for the Women’s and Children’s Services at Sheridan Memorial Hospital before she moved to Oregon. She is standing with Linda Benth, Women’s & Children’s Services Manager who says, “Mary was a very generous person, giving her time and energy to create beautiful baby quilts for our babies.  She and her quilts have created a legacy of caring here at Sheridan Memorial Hospital. We will miss her.” (photo courtesy SMH)

Mary Edwards' goal was to make a quilt for every baby born at Sheridan Memorial Hospital. Hospital Community Relations, Cecile Pattison explains.

Edwards made more than 2,000 quilts for babies at Sheridan Memorial, saying that it “gave her a purpose in life and kept her out of trouble”, according to Pattison. Her final box of quilts arrived at the hospital last week after she passed away on March 21, that means some newborns will still receive a Grandma Mary blanket.

Read Pattison's column below...

Grandma Mary was our Hospital Angel
By Cecile Pattison, Community Relations

On March 21, 2012, Sheridan Memorial Hospital lost one of its angels – Mary Edwards – who passed away in Oregon City, Oregon. Mary was a very special volunteer who made it her mission to provide a homemade quilt to every baby born at Sheridan Memorial Hospital. What made her even more special is that Mary lived in Oregon and she would have been 90 years old on her next birthday.

In 2004, Mary moved to Sheridan to live with her daughter, Sue Wilson. Since Mary needed to come to the hospital regularly, she inquired if she could make quilts for our newborn babies. So beginning in January 2005, Mary started making quilts and would bring in 6 quilts every two weeks. This was the beginning of what she called, “Grandma Mary’s Quilt Shoppe.”

In 2006, Mary decided to move back to her home state of Oregon to be with friends, but she did not want to leave Sheridan’s newborns without their precious quilts. So Mary continued to make quilts and even enlisted the help of people in Oregon to help keep our little Wyoming babies warm. That year she decided every baby born in December should get a special Christmas quilt.

It wasn’t too long after that when Mary decided that EVERY baby born at Sheridan Memorial Hospital should get a quilt. And so for many years the boxes came each week filled with beautiful quilts. She would make special quilts for Rodeo, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and so on. Over the years, Mary made over 2,000 quilts for our babies.

Mary always said that making the quilts gave her a purpose in life and kept her out of trouble. She loved helping people and developed quite an affection for Sheridan Memorial Hospital and the people here. Over the years hospital physicians, employees and volunteers periodically sent her fabric or monetary donations, but for the most part Mary purchased the materials for the quilts herself. The hospital did reimburse her for shipping expenses.

This August, I received a call from Mary. She had developed serious health problems and said that she was unable to keep up the pace, but would still send quilts as she could. After a bit, Mary was unable to sew and decided to crochet beautiful blankets, caps and booties. We received some of them about a month ago and decided to keep them back for Easter and Mother’s Day babies.

Last week, when her daughter Sue Wilson called to say that Mary had passed away, she mentioned that Mary had one more box of blankets ready and she would bring them back to us from Oregon. So there will still be a few families who receive these beautiful handmade blankets from Granmda Mary’s Quilt Shoppe, but we have yet to find anyone who could keep up with her!

Mary was a wonderful woman who truly gave of herself for others. I am so grateful to have known her.

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