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Marie Webster McKinstry

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Marie Webster McKinstry died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, in Doylestown, surrounded by family.
She was born May 18, 1923, in Cleveland, Ohio, the only child of William and Katherine Kingston, and went on to create her own large, loving and tightly knit family.
A beloved wife and the acknowledged family matriarch, Marie survived her first two husbands, George H. Webster and Robert C.J. (Bud) McKinstry, and is survived by her third, Stuart A. Fox V.M.D. She is also survived by her children Karen L. Webster (Marshall Wright), Sara M. Webster, Susan W. Rosen (Craig), Anne M. Kuehm (Stephen) and Jacques J. McKinstry (Olive Wang). Mark K. Webster, her first son and Sue’s twin, predeceased her. Also surviving her are grandchildren Tristan Wright (Katie), Peter Wright, Henry Webster-Mellon (Sarah), Daniel Rosen, Rebecca Rosen (Tom Mellon III), Taylor Kuehm and Alexandra Morrow (Joel); and eight great-grandchildren. She shared her love and attention with many others who considered her their “other mom,” especially the O’Rourke family.
Marie grew up in Brooklyn with her mother and spent summers on grandmother Annie Kemp’s farm in Northfield, Vt. Her mother would put young Marie on the train to Vermont with the destination pinned to her clothing. One of Marie’s summertime chores from the age of 6 was to guide the plow horses around the field from atop the lead horse.
Upon graduating from her Brooklyn high school, where she was president of her senior class, Marie attended the John Robert Powers Talent Agency’s modeling school. Until her marriage to George Webster, she worked in New York City as a model for fashion entrepreneur Hattie Carnegie, walking the runway in haute couture for many dignitaries and socialites.
After her U.S. Naval Academy wedding under an arch of swords (wearing a Hattie Carnegie gown in silk net) in 1945, Marie followed her pilot husband to naval air bases around the country, including Corpus Christi, Coronado, Key West and Willow Grove. Each of her first four children were born at base hospitals.
After George’s sudden death in 1957, Marie and the children spent a summer in Europe. From a base with the O’Rourkes in the south of France, they traveled to Paris, Rome and Germany.
She married Bud McKinstry in 1962 and the family soon welcomed two more children.
Famously outgoing, Marie was active both socially and with various volunteer causes connected to social justice, historical preservation and her church. She was a member of the Doylestown Country Club, Doylestown Nature Club, League of Women Voters, Bucks County Historical Society and Trinity Episcopal Church, Solebury. Marie left her mark on the community: she was one of founders of the popular Mercer Folk Fest and successfully hosted the first two inmates of Bucks County Prison’s progressive work-release program in the early ’70s.
Marie also owned and operated Ridge Farm Antiques for several years.
Marie loved her family and she loved a party. She set trends in fashion, food and entertaining, and she enjoyed gardening from the first packet of carrot seeds she planted in the dirt behind her mother’s newsstand in Brooklyn. And until a month before her death, she played bridge Sunday afternoons.
Marie was a woman of refined manners who believed in giving back to the community, attributes apparent in her children and grandchildren. Self-taught in dozens of areas, she diligently followed current events and studied the issues in depth. Until just shortly before her death, she would readily and intelligently discuss the state of the nation and the world.
Her later years were blessed by a happy marriage to Stuart Fox: for over a decade they danced, traveled and enjoyed homes in Bucks County and on St. Croix. Parted by circumstances, Stuart expressed his devotion by sending her flowers every week and phoning her every evening.
Marie lived an abundant life full of family and friends who will miss her immeasurably.
The Webster-McKinstry family will hold a celebration of Marie’s life on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at Sara Webster’s home in Doylestown. Memorial donations may be made to Bucks County Historical Society (mercermuseum.org).


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