Cover photo for Mary L. Thurston's Obituary
Mary L. Thurston Profile Photo
1948 Mary Lee 2023

Mary L. Thurston

March 31, 1948 — September 12, 2023


Mary L. Thurston, 75, of Syracuse, passed away on Tuesday at Francis House after several months of illness. Born in Utica to Clement and Marguerite Wilsey, she graduated from Utica Free Academy in 1966 and married Gary Thurston in February 1969. Mary Lee was a mother to five sons and a beloved "Nana" to 11 grandchildren, including seven granddaughters for whom she finally had the chance to buy girls' clothing! In addition, all 11 spent their first winters wrapped in buntings that she lovingly crocheted. When Mary's youngest started kindergarten, she returned to school, enrolling in St. Joseph's Hospital Nursing School. In a move that surprised no one, she chose labor and delivery upon graduation, where she worked for approximately 15 years. Over her career, Mary Lee assisted in the birth of countless babies and attended as many deliveries of her own grandchildren as possible. She loved to cook, dance, travel, complete puzzles, play tennis and pickleball. Her other cherished life experiences included any time when her entire family gathered, summers at Oneida Lake, the grand celebration of her 50th wedding anniversary at the Turning Stone, and trips to Europe with family.

Mary Lee was predeceased by her parents, Clement and Marguerite Wilsey; her older brother, Griffin Wilsey; and her sister-in-law, Dee Wilsey.

Surviving her are her husband of 54 years, Gary; sons, Todd (Tabitha) of Camillus, Shaun (Mary) of Lebanon, OH, Jeremy (Carrie) of Camillus, Gary "Ben" (Sarah) of Marcellus, and Jonathan (Jennifer) of Hamburg; and grandchildren, Alexander, Abigail, Natalie, Jack, Julia, Lucy, Rosie, Henry, Annabelle, Evelyn, and Nathaniel. She is also survived by her siblings, Joanne (Marty) Hall of Hannibal, Gail (Brian) Bedell of Canandaigua, Edward Wilsey, Martin (Barbara) Wilsey, both of Denver, CO, and Clement (Paula) Wilsey of SC; sister-in-law, Shyleen Wilsey of Baldwinsville; along with many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Relatives and friends may call on Tuesday, September 19 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Buranich Funeral Home, 5431 W. Genesee St., Camillus. A funeral service will follow at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Francis House, 108 Michaels Ave., Syracuse, NY 13208, or to Nascentia Health, 1050 Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13204.


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Service Schedule

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

3:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Starts at 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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