Mary Louise Hart Delaney passed away peacefully on Sunday, Sept. 8., at her home in Whitefish, Mont., surrounded by her loving husband Laurence Delaney, daughters Elizabeth Phillips and Jennifer Clemente, and son Morgan Hart Delaney.
Life began for Mary Louise in 1941 where her parents Doris and Arthur Hart raised her with her sisters Helen and Diane, and her brother Noel in a two-story house, surrounded by strawberry fields in the Southern California farming community of Barber City. During Mary’s childhood, her parents opened their home to those in need of temporary shelter or a hot meal. This instilled a sense of compassion early on in Mary’s young life.
Mary attended Huntington Beach High School during the golden age of Surf City, USA, where she was a popular cheerleader with a talent for math and science. Soon after graduating, she had her first daughter Elizabeth and later, two more girls – Laura and Jennifer.
Mary began dating Larry Delaney in the late 1960s while he was an executive at Capitol Records, and swept Mary off her feet by taking her to the Grammy’s for one of their first dates. But life would pull them apart and they would not marry until later in life.
Her natural gift of intuition, creativity and keen intellect led her to many successful business ventures, including a hand-painted silk clothing company with her sister Helen Murphy in Laguna Beach. When Larry came back into Mary’s life, they had a baby boy, Morgan, and moved the family to Whitefish, Montana.
Delaney opened The Victorian Club in downtown Whitefish, where she created her own line of beauty products that complimented her line of Victorian fashions, antiques, jewelry, prom and wedding dresses.
During the height of the dot com era, Delaney joined her husband Larry in Silicon Valley as chief financial officer of a successful high tech company they co-founded whose clients numbered the world’s top semiconductor companies.
But Delaney’s true nature revolved around her spiritual growth. While a devoted Catholic, she also embraced a universal belief in the divine, and she educated herself in native American spirituality, Sanskrit teachings, and a wide spectrum of Eastern philosophies, all while deeply connecting to her Celtic roots.
Along with a refined practice in the art of natural healing and healthy living, Delaney utilized an array of homeopathy, Tibetan herbs and botanicals which she used to help the ailments of friends and family.
Delaney is defined by her luminescent beauty and eclectic style, her boundless compassion, upstanding integrity and otherworldly wisdom. Last but not least, she is remembered for her famous long, red braid, the envy of many.
Delaney is survived by her loving husband and soul mate Laurence Delaney of Whitefish; daughters Elizabeth Phillips of Laguna Beach, Laura Newman of Florence, Italy, Jennifer Clemente of Austin, Tex., and son Morgan Hart Delaney of Echo Park; brother Noel Hart of Laguna Beach; nephews Gabriel, Austin, Graham and Oliver Hart, Matt and Bob Murphy; nieces Juniper Hart Girgis, Dedee Yamamoto, Mary Murphy McCrink, Nancy Roberson, Karen Tobin, Molly Murphy; grandchildren Ruby and Sterling Phillips, Matteo and Gianmarco Orlandi; and many other nieces, nephews and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her name to the Whitefish Food Bank. A celebration of Mary’s life will be held at the Delaney residence at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13.