Mary Blue was a lady. She sparkled when greeting people. She loved gardening and cooking and, maybe most of all, being the wife of John Blue, the longtime Southeast Missourian editor who preceded her in death three years ago. He adored her too.
Her weekly gardening column, "Ladybug Says," appeared in the newspaper for 35 years, and she was the food editor for 20 years.
Blue died Tuesday at age 87. Her death concludes an era in the history of the newspaper and the organizations -- Southeast Missouri State University, Southeast Missouri Hospital, the Rotary Club of Cape Girardeau and P.E.O., among them -- the Blues gave much of their time to.
Their many contributions to the community included the endowment a journalism scholarship at the university.
Except for the pastor's remarks about her, Mary Blue's funeral was exactly the same as the services held for her husband. The minister said she could be contrary, an observation that drew knowing laughter from those in attendance.
She also cared about the details. When John Blue generalized in a conversation, she added the specifics.
Each addressed the other by their first and last names. "John Blue," she'd say. "Yes, Mary Blue," he always answered.