Mary Ellen Manion Whaley, 90, of Roxbury, died Dec. 28 at her home, surrounded by friends. She was the widow of Robert E. Whaley.
Mrs. Manion was born March 28, 1922, in Danbury, daughter of William and Edith (Fry) Manion.
Her father owned a cider mill on Nashville Road in Bethel. Each year, after the apple harvest and cider season were complete, Mrs. Whaley and her parents would move from Bethel to Fellsmere, Fla., where they would remain until late spring. As a result, she attended some schools in Bethel, but the majority of her pre-college education was received in Florida.
Following high school graduation, Mrs. Whaley enrolled at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla., where she received a bachelor's degree in home economics.
After returning to Bethel, she met and married Robert E. Whaley. They settled in the family home on Hickok Ave. They had one daughter, Dawn Ellen.
For a number of years, Mrs. Whaley taught homemaking at Bethel High School. When her father retired from the cider mill, she expressed a desire to operate a flower shop. As a result, the first Flower Bowl opened on Barnum Square in 1955. The business was later moved to the former cider mill property on Nashville Road, where it remained in operation until 2011.
In later years, Mrs. Whaley moved with her husband to a house on family property in Roxbury. She continued to operate the Flower Bowl until her husband died in 2005. At that time she became semi-retired.
Mrs. Whaley is survived by a son-in-law, Bryan Fitzgerald, and many friends.
Burial was at St. Mary's Cemetery in Bethel.
The Bethel Funeral Home in Bethel was in charge of arrangements.