Stylish, savvy and sociable, Mary Clare Davis has been a welcome addition to our Decatur House community.
Mary Clare moved here from an independent living community, where she resided following her husband’s death in 2020. Her gregarious personality and can-do spirit made her a favorite among her neighbors. “They called her their ‘resident ambassador’ and ‘mayor,’” her daughter, Kristen, said. “She’s very smart, a good listener and everybody loves her.”
Mary Clare also has another daughter, Kelly, and son Scott, all residing in Massachusetts.
Before she and her husband, John, started raising a family, Mary Clare had a 20-year career as a hospital X-ray technician. When the kids came along, she left the workforce to focus on her family.
In that role, she may have set a new benchmark.“She was like the ‘neighborhood mom’ — everyone loved coming over to our house!” Kristen said. “There were circuses, plays, crafts, ‘cookie swaps,’ caroling, hide-and-seek and we even made playdough together.”
After spending ten years “at home with kids,” Mary Clare decided to re-enter the work force. At the suggestion of her husband – the administrator in a hospital’s radiation department — she pursued a career in the still relatively new field of ultrasound technology. She trained to become an ultrasonographer — a medical technician skilled in using diagnostic imaging equipment.
“She went back to school in her 40s,” Kristen said. “That’s huge!” The training included challenging science courses like anatomy, technology, physics and more. “Anybody can learn anatomy – and Kristen helped me with physics,” Mary Clare said. Those efforts paid off nicely, in a career she continued for 25 years.
Kristen still admires the way her parents worked closely together, as a team, to create “a very good social and strong support system” for their family. Those strengths extended beyond Mary Clare’s family. She also boasts a closely knit coterie of longtime friends – a ‘sisterhood’, of sorts — who call themselves “The Yayas.”
Mary Clare has always been active and game to try anything her kids did, including skiing and rowing. She has been swimming for 30 years and still loves doing water aerobics. She also enjoys Broadway musicals, and was delighted to learn that a production of her favorite show, Les Miserables, was being staged locally. When her schedule didn’t permit her to attend, Mary Clare was not terribly disappointed. “That’s OK.,” she said. “I’ve already seen it – four times.”
Mary Clare recalled the time when she first began exploring assisted living options, and those visits brought her to Decatur House. Ironically, she once lived in the Washington, D.C. area and was quite familiar with the venerable Decatur House, a National Trust Historic Site completed in 1819. It was the first private residence constructed on Lafayette Square, and saved from the wrecking ball by then-President John F. Kennedy.
When Mary Clare discovered its counterpart, nestled in the heart of historic Sandwich, the serendipity did not escape her. (More ironic still, Decatur House Owner, Stephen Decatur Austin, is directly related to the storied admiral) I knew right away, this was the place,” she said. “It was kismet!”
While she is still settling in to her new home, Mary Clare already knows she made the right choice. “I love the people here, I love going out to lunch, I love everything about it!” she said.