We’ll miss you, Museum Lady
From The Editor ...
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the last time I sat down with Mary Yantis.
I was running around downtown, doing a variety of chores for the paper and passed by the Historical Museum where I saw the resident ‘Museum Lady’ sitting down in one of the three rocking chairs to read the weekly paper.
I stepped inside only intending to say hi, but that hello turned into an hour or two of conversation.
We talked about politics, the museum, the town, family and of course, how we were doing. Mary genuinely cared about all of Dublin, and that included all of its people.
I don’t believe Mary Yantis was ever a stranger. From the first time my mom and I stepped into the museum, she always knew me. I visited the museum a few times in high school but only once or twice in college.
When I became a writer for the Citizen, she immediately remembered who I was and asked about my mom.
As I sat at her funeral Sunday, it was related how Mary instructed all of her children to “Be kind,” a motto she lived by and one that I had heard about.
However, it was also said that she told her grandchildren to listen to other people’s stories because everyone had their own to tell.
This put her love of history into focus. I heard that from a young age, Mary would listen with rapt attention to everyone she met.
She was endlessly fascinated with history of all types, especially America, a country she was fiercely proud to call home, Texas and Dublin, the place she was raised and the place where she chose to live her last active decades.
The story on the front page will tell you about all the work she did in building the historical society and museums into the enviable condition they are in today, but as impressive as those facts are, they pale with being in the presence of the woman herself.
It was always obvious when something good was on the horizon for Dublin. Mary would be wherever progress was being made, whether it was a meeting, workday or community event.
Her teeth would be clearly visible in her broad smile and that warmth would be carried in her eyes.
If the massive smile and excited fist shaking didn’t let you know she was excited about Dublin’s growth, Mary would spell it out for you.
“Ooh, this is so exciting.”
I heard those words many times in my decade with the paper and on more than one occasion, Mary could be credited for the very thing she was celebrating. She would never let you know it though. The accomplishment was the reward.
There were only fleeting moments of trouble that I ever saw on Mary’s face, but one repeated worry of hers is who would carry the torch of Dublin’s progress when the current crop of leaders were gone.
Who would pay tribute to all of the prominent men and women of Dublin’s past and take care of those still living in the town?
The question of who could replace Mary was brought up at the funeral and of course, the answer is ‘nobody.’
However, it falls on all of us to make sure her progress and passion stays alive just as her memory stays alive in each of us that she touched.
It’s fitting that her obituary states that donations can be made to any organization or charity of your choice.
Mary herself supported everything that arose in Dublin, whether it be a business or a community group.
I encourage everyone to find time to bolster the community, whether that means a donation to one of Dublin’s organizations, volunteering to help at a community event or even just being there for a neighbor in need.
History was a compassionate endeavor for Mary Yantis, and although she might have been too humble to accept it, she has secured her place in Dublin’s history.
Gaudette is the managing editor at the Dublin Citizen and can be reached at 445-2515 and firstname.lastname@example.org .