Mary Ellen Wilcox, who worked as a teacher and guidance counselor for 32 years upstate, died at home on Round Pond Lane in Sag Harbor on Monday after what was described as a long illness. She was 66.
Soon after moving to Sag Harbor 20 years ago, Ms. Wilcox became a volunteer at the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry, which enriched her life. According to Ann Wallingford, her life partner of 33 years, she would say, “I come home with so much more than I gave.”
“Nature centers me,” Ms. Wilcox often said, and she found comfort and peace through gardening. She also enjoyed kayaking, biking, and watching women’s sports.
“She loved life,” said Ms. Wallingford. “She was a wonderful chef and loved to entertain her friends and family.”
Ms. Wilcox was born on Aug. 7, 1947, in Ferrisburgh, Vt., to Seeley Wilcox and the former Dorothy Cyr. She attended Johnson State College in Johnson, Vt., where she was known for her athletic ability, and earned a master’s degree from Manhattan College in the Bronx.
She moved to Ossining, N.Y., in 1969, and taught sixth grade in the Lakeland Central School District for 10 years, after which she served as guidance counselor in the district’s middle school until her retirement in 2001.
In addition to Ms. Wallingford, she is survived by two brothers, Gary Wilcox of Liberty, N.Y., and Marvin Wilcox of Keene, N.H., two nieces, and three grandnephews.
Ms. Wallingford’s family in Maysville, Ky., was also important to her: Ms. Wallingford’s brother, Leroy Wallingford, his wife, Barbara, a nephew and his daughters, and a niece and her sons.
Ms. Wilcox also leaves her beloved King Charles spaniel, Tucker.
A service will be held at the Old Whalers Church in Sag Harbor on Tuesday at 2 p.m. The Rev. Mark Phillips will officiate. Memorial donations have been suggested for the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry, P.O. Box 1241, Sag Harbor 11963, or East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978.