Tryon, NC--Lucy Clem Mauney, 83, of Tryon NC died suddenly and peacefully Sunday night, November 8, 2020. Lucy was preceded in death by her two youngest daughters, Sarah Caitlin Mauney (2011) and Mary Michael Mauney (2017). She is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Mauney David (Mathew) and her grandchildren, Christopher David and Kyle Catherine David, all of Evanston IL and her nephew, John Dickson (Alison Arnold) of Fairview NC, who was like a son to her.
Lucy was born in Abingdon VA in 1937 and raised in Salem, VA. She came from a long line of Virginians who traced her lineage to the First Families of Virginia. She was the only child of two older working parents, not very common in those days and she said she was raised, very lovingly, by the housekeeper Harriet, who Lucy’s own children got to know when they spent time each summer at their grandparent’s house many years later.
Although her mother and Harriet instilled a strong sense of Southern etiquette and impeccable manners, Lucy told stories of not only being a tomboy as a child, but of taking on dares that even her male friends wouldn’t do. One particularly gutsy childhood stunt down the highest hill in town on roller skates in a bathing suit landed her in the hospital with a severely skinned backside. She always claimed that was the reason she had such a small derriere and couldn’t fill out her jeans, to her chagrin.
Always drawing, painting and sketching throughout her life on any available paper, including all of her textbooks, Lucy attended the Richmond Professional Institute, now known as Virginia Commonwealth University. She graduated with a degree in fashion illustration and worked for Belk Department Stores in Charlotte NC as a pen and ink fashion illustrator.
After marrying and having her first two daughters in Charlotte, Lucy moved with her family to Chicago IL where her former husband, Michael Mauney, worked as a staff photographer for Life Magazine. Her youngest daughter, Caitlin, was born at Michael Reese Hospital there. The birth was induced so that Michael could be available to photograph the family of Astronaut Neil Armstrong, who was landing on the moon and then be available for whatever Life Magazine had in mind post-moon landing.
Lucy lived in the Midwest for 27 years, moving from Chicago to Wilmette and then settling in Evanston. She worked for various newspapers and advertising agencies both as a fashion illustrator, newspaper artist and as an advertising rep. Many friends remember watching her swiftly and expertly draw the illustrations, which included making the clothes come alive on a beautiful model. She was quiet about her art and her talent and didn’t seek the spotlight. She was proud of her accomplishments in the ad sales world, though, finding a great measure of well-earned success and making lifelong friends.
In 1993, Lucy moved to Tryon. She fell in love with a 1929 stone house on Carolina Drive named The Branches. She said she could spend all her days in the dining room, filled with windows, looking out at the trees, the birds and the mountains. The family dog, a rescued German Shepherd named Roxy, joined her from Evanston and never left Lucy’s side. Another local dog in the Gillette Woods neighborhood “adopted” Lucy and she could be seen walking with Duke and Roxy all throughout the roads in the first years of Tryon life. Lucy had two vehicles, both stick shift. One a ladylike sedan, the other a small grey Toyota truck that she loved tooling all over town in, and had a list of “buyers” who put dibs on it when she decided to sell it. She never did sell that truck.
Her life in Tryon was filled with many good friends, part-time jobs and family and pets. She and her daughter Mary always found a spot for another needy cat and usually a faithful dog, the last one being Desi, a Chow-Chow mix. Neighbors on Carolina Drive remember Lucy and Desi walking together.
Lucy worked at many part time jobs over the years, putting her background to work, including the McKinsey Printing Shop, and most recently at the Green River Gallery. She volunteered her time most generously at many of the area thrift stores, and food pantries, the Gillette Woods Association, the Tryon Garden Club and the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival for many years.
Lucy was, overall, selfless and shared her time with her family in an extraordinarily generous way. She often flew to the west coast to visit and live with her daughter Caitlin, and to the Midwest to lend a hand with the grandchildren for Elizabeth. When any of her children needed her, Lucy was there. For a few years, her daughter Mary lived with Lucy in Tryon and friends remember fondly the movie nights the two of them arranged. Growing up in the Mauney family, movies were serious business. Knowing the directors and dialogue, the Hollywood trivia, and memorizing and acting out quoted movie lines were par for the course in the family.
Lucy was most proud of her children and her grandchildren, her friends and her animals. She was the epitome of a Southern lady, with a beautiful accent and a calm demeanor, yet she had a sparkle in her eye and a sly way of landing a zinger. Her great personal accomplishment was her lifelong love of all things chocolate (Pound bags of M&M’s, homemade brownies and Fanny May pixies and hostess mints come to mind) and yet the seemingly inexplicable ability her whole life to retain her figure.
Her friends and family adored her. She was a gracious, kind and giving person who always wanted to know “what you’re up to.” She and her former husband remained friendly and amiable throughout the years, delighting their daughters. Friends describe Lucy as a one-of-a-kind friend and a keeper of confidences, loyal, funny and sharp. 35 years later, friends from her girls’ high school still remembered her and always ask “How’s Lucy? I love Lucy!” She made everyone she spoke to feel they were the center of her attention. And she meant it.
She will be greatly missed.
There will be no memorial service at this time due to Covid-19. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to Conserving Carolina, 847 Case St, Hendersonville, NC 28792; Pet Tender Angels, P.O. Box 273, Landrum SC 29356; or Paws, Prayers and Promises, 685 Carriage Row, Tryon NC 28782.
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