Mary Virginia Butler Ames, 90, formerly of Canton, passed away on Friday, September 17, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, surrounded by her family. Mary was born in Watertown in 1931, the daughter of Nettie Turgeon Butler and Francis Gabriel Butler. She attended Holy Family School and graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy in 1949. Mary earned her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Potsdam in 1953 and a master’s degree from there in 1958. She taught fifth grade and junior high in the Colonie Central School District for two years before returning to Watertown, where she taught for six years in the Watertown City School District, including five years at Case Junior High School. She also taught at the Congdon Campus School at SUNY Potsdam; at the Learning Skills Center at Mater Dei College in Ogdensburg; and at Heuvelton Central School.
Mary married Lawrence S. Ames of Canton on June 15, 1963, at Holy Family Church in Watertown, with Fr. James Ruddy, a friend of the groom, officiating. They spent 30 years raising their family in Heuvelton, where Lawrence was high school principal and superintendent of Heuvelton Central School. In Heuvelton, Mary was a member of the Altar & Rosary Society, Parish Council, and a C.C.D. teacher with St. Raphael’s Catholic parish.
Mary lived in Canton from 1993 to 2018, where she had many friends and was a commissioned lay minister at St. Mary’s Church, member of the Canton Garden Club, and member of the Surviving Spouse Friendship & Support Group. For a number of years, she volunteered at St. Mary’s School, teaching English to fifth and six graders. She moved to the Nottingham Independent Living Community in Syracuse in 2018 to be closer to family.
Mary was predeceased by her husband Larry in 2002. She is survived by their four children: Mary Cox (Jeff) of Bedford, NY; Michael L. S. Ames (Sara) of Syracuse; Eileen Clinton (Robert) of Yarmouth, Maine; and Catherine “Katie” Riley (Daniel) of Pittsford, NY. She is also survived by eight grandchildren: Brian Cox (Emma) and Sarah Cox; Virginia Ames; Claire, Catherine, and John Lawrence “Jack” Talluto; and Eleanor “Ellie” and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Riley.
Mary’s family will receive visitors on Thursday, October 7, from 7-9 p.m., at O’Leary Funeral Home, Canton. Full COVID-19 protocols (including masking) will be in place, and the family respectfully requests fully vaccinated visitors only. A funeral mass will be held at St. Mary’s Church, Canton, at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 8, with private burial immediately following at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Donations in Mary’s memory may be made to St. Mary’s Church, Canton; the Sisters of St. Joseph, 1425 Washington Street, Watertown; Claxton Hepburn Medical Center, Ogdensburg; or to the charity of one’s choice.
Memories and condolences are encouraged online at www.olearyfuneralservice.com. Arrangements for Mary Butler Ames are under the care of the O’Leary Funeral Service of Canton.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Virginia (Butler) Ames, please visit our floral store.