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Super Senior: Mary Traverse - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Mary Traverse

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MENDON, Vt. -

"Time to go to work, Joe! Got to make the dough," said Mary Traverse, Super Senior.

Mary means what she says.

"I'm mixing the dough for the pies," said Mary. 

For the last five years, she's been baking at Olivia's Market in Rutland.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Do you have a sweet tooth?  

Mary: Hardly ever eat pie, hardly ever.

But others do, she's called the pie lady of Rutland County.

"I love making people happy," said Mary. 

Co-workers, like Jill Michel, call the 84-year-old the most amazing woman in the world.

"We just have a wonderful time together, we're like a family," said Michel. 

But there's another family up the road.

"Come on, we got to get everything nice and clean," said Mary. 

If cleanliness is next to godliness...

"Joe, I was raised by the nuns," Mary said. "Does that tell you anything?"

Welcome to the sanctuary of shine. Mary gets a little help from her daughters Patty and Jessica.

This story almost didn't happen, a letter from Jessica was quickly misplaced. A friend of hers called and said, "Why haven't you responded?" The letter was found, Joe apologized and realized he had a gem.

The letter says: "Dear WCAX, I want to know if you can come down and interview my mom. She has fostered about 240 children and she also adopted 10 children. She also has a big heart for everyone." 

Jessica came to Mary from a broken home 25 years ago.

Carroll: What possessed you to adopt and foster so many kids?  

Mary: Well, I grew up as an only child, my brother was killed at age 5 by a drunken driver. 

Mary's parents died when she was young. She and her husband now passed away, had three biological children. But Mary had a desire for more. They adopted Patty, who's now in her 40s, when she was just seven days old. 

"I thank God every day that they brought her to me," said Mary. "Patty, they said, would neither walk nor talk."

Patty, who's suffered from a rare skin disorder, exceeded expectations nicely.

"Everybody loves her, Price Chopper just loves her," said Mary. 

Patty: Twenty-five years, Joe! 

Joe: Twenty-five years.

Patty: Yup.

Joe: I know you get help from the state.

Mary: A little, not a lot. Believe me. I put in much more than I ever get, Joe. But I get so much inside.

It's a blended group of biological, adopted and foster kids; she loves them equally.

Joe: No different to you? 

Mary: No different. I'm proud of every one of them. 

And the feeling is mutual.

"And I believe she is a Super Senior," said Jessica.

She's a mother to many and a friend to all.

"I'm blessed in so many ways," said Mary. 

"Have a good day Patty, mom loves you," said Mary.

Mary rarely takes a vacation. She did travel down to Atlanta back in the 1990s when she was named Foster Parent of the Year for Vermont.

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