Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

April 25, 2013

BOB HULLINGER: Shopkeep had style, elegance

— With a gleam in her eyes, a smile on her face and a keen business sense guiding her, Mary Mast-Pier lived her life as an adventure ... and it was.

 The long-time owner of Mast Furniture in Greentown died last Thursday at St. Joseph Hospital at the age of 95, two years after she sold her store building and gave up her active role of guiding one of Indiana’s premier furniture stores. It was a business she loved and made flourish.

Make no doubt about it, Mary had an inordinate feel for the furniture business, but she mixed the importance of satisfying her customers with decorating skills and ideas that were innovative and pleasing to buyers locally and far from her Howard County base. Once a customer, the transition to friendship was a given, which made future visits to the store much more than a shopping experience.

While developing the business was dominant, the road was crowded with side journeys that fueled personal growth and made life exciting and complete. She was a young woman during the difficult years of the Great Depression, developed skills at several jobs, and eventually found her niche in her beloved store.

But Mary was about a lot more than furniture, although she certainly had the recipes for success in an era when women-owned businesses were not that common. She had perfect companions for the ride, with husbands Mark Mast and Fred Pier and daughter Sally Mower, each offering opportunities and support.

Mary loved life. She enjoyed conversations, laughter, good food, people, memories, and she was at her best recalling people.

One of her favorite furniture store-related escapades occurred on a slow Saturday when two men entered the store and browsed both floors, eventually making selections (with Mary’s help of course) to substantially fill several rooms of a house. The catch: delivery had to be made that day — outside Lexington, Ky. No problem. Workers loaded the truck, and with a driver who had never driven on an interstate, the delivery van headed out, followed by Mary and an associate to help with arranging the furniture, paintings and accessories.

A mid-winter visit last year to Chicago’s Drake Hotel, one of Mary’s favorite places when at the furniture mart, brought a smile to her face as she also remembered the Drake as where she and Mark spent their honeymoon. Recognized by friendly hotel management by her frequent stays, Mary showed the 1947 receipt from her honeymoon. Much to her surprise upon checking out, she found that management had again honored the 1947 rates.

As late as December, Mary was still holding court. Attending a women’s fashion show in Wabash, she found herself at the center of attention at an eight-person table ... doing what came naturally for the past 95 years.

Elegance. Style. Beauty. Smarts. Class. The Greentown lady had it all!

Bob Hullinger is a former Tribune writer and, of course, a Mary Mast-Pier fan. He may be reached at rdhullinger@aol.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Truth about inflation Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.Goods and services typically have a price dictated in

    July 27, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

  • MARK HEINIG JR.: Will Pence, Ritz and their playmates ever grow up? Many Hoosier Republicans are curious about Gov. Mike Pence’s future. He probably is, too. Assuming he doesn’t wish to return to Congress or retire from politics, he must decide whether to seek another term as governor of Indiana or run for president

    July 25, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Why congressional incumbents keep getting re-elected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 25, 2014

  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

  • CECIL BOHANON: Spend down surplus? Been there, done that Back in 1998, the state of Indiana had more than $1.3 billion in surplus funds in its general account. This was about 57 days of state spending. The state had total surplus funds of more than $2 billion that was over 24 percent of its annual operatin

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller