Margaret “Anne” “Rooney” Kingsley Blake Torrey, age 93, passed away on September 28, 2021, at Cathedral Village in Philadelphia, PA. Born in Holyoke, MA, in 1927, she was the daughter of the late Robert A. Kingsley and Margaret McMaster.
After graduating from Springside School ’45 and McGill University ’49, Anne married Donald “Donnie” Blake, a geologist, and together they had two beautiful children, Geoffrey Kingsley Blake and Sara “Sally” Wetherell Blake. When Donnie contracted polio and was paralyzed from the neck down in the early 50s, she fought to get him off the iron lung and bring him and their young children from Montreal to Chestnut Hill, where her parents lived. Donnie taught geology from his bed, with the ceiling above him covered with maps of the world. Anne cared for him lovingly and tirelessly as she raised her young children and worked as a librarian at Chestnut Hill Academy to help support the family. Her children were killed as teenagers in a car accident in Canada.
Over the subsequent years, she continued working and volunteering as a librarian at Chestnut Hill Academy, local public libraries, and Cathedral Village. She also worked at the Baggage Room, Sports and Specialties, and Monkey Business in Chestnut Hill. In 1984 she received the Landreth Award for outstanding devotion to Chestnut Hill Academy.
Anne was a lifelong learner and reader and a passionate bridge player. She excelled at needlepoint, knitting, and sewing smocked dresses, which she was making and selling at Villavillekula in Chestnut Hill as recently as this spring.
She was a remarkable woman who persevered in the face of unimaginable tragedy. Her keen intelligence, wry sense of humor, and love and care for others will stay in the hearts of her family and many friends.
Anne is survived by loving nieces and nephews: Robert L. Kingsley, Michael Kingsley, Diana Kingsley, Frances Phinney, William Gresh, David Gresh, Christina Taylor Overing, Elma McKay, Anna Healey, Frank Johnston, Cynthia Dunlap, Mary McCue, Joan Kearney, Patricia Kearney, John Kearney, Mike Kearney, Emily Eklund, Sam Scovil, Alec Scovil, and their families; stepdaughters Meg Torrey and Anne Torrey; and her sisters-in-law, Anne Kingsley and Barbara Scovil. In her later years she enjoyed the friendship and care of a very special goddaughter, Diana Beausang.
She is predeceased by her first husband, Donald Blake; second husband Philip Torrey; her brothers and sisters Robert A. Kingsley Jr, Sally Taylor, Samuel Scovil; and her children Geoffrey Kingsley Blake and Sara “Sally” Wetherell Blake.
Memorial gifts in honor of Margaret Kingsley Blake Torrey can be sent to Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 500 West Willow Grove Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118. ATTN: Development Office.
The family is planning a memorial service for the summer of 2022, when she will be laid to rest at Fernhill Cemetery in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.