Mary Means Huber Passed Away on May 19, 2024

By the Family

June 5, 2024: Mary Means Huber, formerly of Bronxville, passed away peacefully on May 19 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She had celebrated her 90th birthday, surrounded by her family, on April 16, less than a month before her death. 

Mary was a resident of the larger Bronxville community for almost sixty years until 2017, when she moved to Massachusetts to be near her daughter.  During her many years in the village, she was well known as a dedicated community leader and volunteer, as well as a devoted wife, nurturing mother, and dear friend to many.

Born in 1934, the only child of Sylvia Shepherd Means and Carroll Alton Means, she grew up in Woodbridge, CT, where the Shepherd family had lived since the latter part of the 19th century.  The family was steeped in New England history as descendants of the Mayflower (and members of the Mayflower Society).  Her father was an authority on American and English antiques and owned an antiques business in New Haven.  Family trips during her childhood, as well as with her own children, often concentrated on historic sites and houses, museums, exhibits, and gardens. 

Mary received a B.A. in art history from Wheaton College and a Masters degree in American Decorative Arts at Winterthur, University of Delaware.  In 1958, she married Charles Clark Huber, and they had been married almost 54 years when he died in 2012.  They had three children.

In 1969, the Huber family of five moved to their village home on Sturgis Road, and for the next five decades Mary continued to work for the community in her professional areas of interest -- history and the decorative arts -- as well as in other community endeavors.  Besides her involvement as a parent on school committees, and at the Reformed Church, where she served as a Deacon, she was President of the League for Service, on the board of the Bronxville Public Library, and a member of the Women’s Club, as well as of the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. 

The most notable of Mary’s community contributions, however, was serving as the Village Historian from 1987 to 1999. Mary had played a key role in establishing Bronxville’s Local History Room, and as Village Historian was known for an “open door” approach to the LHR and the historical archives, encouraging citizens to visit, do research, and learn about local history. 

Because Bronxville had a shared history as a part of Eastchester until 1898, and even when independently incorporated for 100 years afterward, the village did not have its own historical organization. Consequently, Mary was very active in the Eastchester Historical Society, and she encouraged villagers to join in that group’s activities. 

Perhaps her favorite era and personalities of local history were the 19th century and its founding families, such as the Mastertons, and she did extensive research, writing, and speaking on those topics. On the occasion of the Bronxville Centennial Celebration, she was a member of the Centennial Committee and was one of the founding members of the Bronxville Historical Conservancy, also serving on its Board of Directors and as its secretary for several years.  In addition, she was the co-editor of two significant Centennial publications – Around Bronxville and Building A Suburban Village.  She was also a contributor of articles on local history to the Women’s Club publication, The Villager.

Mary Huber’s talents were not confined to the Bronxville-Eastchester communities.  For 30 years she served as a revered co-curator at the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in Pelham Bay Park, NY. Earlier in her career she had trained as a cataloger at Washington Irving’s home in Tarrytown, as an assistant to the curator at Sleepy Hollow Restorations, and she was a docent at the Hudson River Museum. Her work in these various locations gave her experiences and knowledge that led to the publication of articles in Antiques Magazine and the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Her contributions to her community did not go unrecognized.  She was the recipient of the Bronxville Rotary Club’s annual award in 1997, and the St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site honored her in 2006 for her “outstanding contributions to increasing the appreciation of the early history of Westchester County.” 

On the occasion of her move to Massachusetts, the Bronxville Conservancy, the Public Library and village officials honored and recognized Mary for her “generosity and commitment to the village and its history” with a large community reception. At that time, she gifted to the Conservancy two 1830s oil portraits of the Mastertons’ daughter and their niece, pictures that now hang in the Conservancy’s public art collection.

In her long history in the community, Mary touched countless lives.  As her daughter Betsy described her: “She loved people and she loved to have friends and relatives visit and stay over. Always gracious.  Always kind. Always busy. Always grateful. She never complained …even at the end.  She worried about others, but never, ever felt sorry for herself.”

Mary Huber is survived by her three children:  Elizabeth/”Betsy” Port (Jason) of Longmeadow,MA; Ann Zoghlin (Adam Dale) of Wilmette, IL; and John Huber of Apex, NC, and by seven grandchildren whom she adored: Rachel and Jeremy Port; Ava, Natasha, and Lilly Zoghlin; and Katie and Andrew Huber,

Her graveside service will be private at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Donations in her memory can be made to the Reformed Church of Bronxville, The Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, or The Bronxville Historical Conservancy.




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