Mary Louise Spicer (Hastings) of Seaford died Feb. 11, 2024, at her home in Middleford. She is survived by her daughters, Linda Louise Spicer, Judy Ann (Stephen) Schwartz, and Carol Shelley (Douglas) Nair, and her granddaughter Ali (Adam) Caldwell, as well as many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband of 75 years, Shelley O. Spicer, Jr., her infant twin sons, John and William Spicer; her grandson Ted Schwartz; and her siblings, Paul B. Hastings, James Watson Hastings, Jeanette Rogers, and Barbara Hitman.    

Mary Lou was born to J. Paul and Clara Boyce Hastings outside of Seaford on a large farm on what is now Hastings Farm Road. Her childhood was rich with farm activities: gardening, livestock, picking fresh fruit and berries, and especially the freedom of being outside and enjoying nature. These childhood experiences and values set the cornerstones of how she lived her life: practical, honest, hardworking, and humble.        

As a child she started her education in a one room country schoolhouse, the Rawlins School, until the fourth grade, when she transferred to the Seaford school system. Here she excelled academically and graduated at the top of her class. It was in junior high school where she met Shelley, and gathered the courage to invite him to an ice cream social. She would later say, “I chased him until he caught me!” They were high school sweethearts and got married when she was 18 and he was 20.

Together, they built their dream home on the Nanticoke River, on two acres in the woods, where they raised their family and remained for the rest of their lives. Mary Lou continued to maintain a large vegetable garden at her family’s farm, just a few miles away. With Shelley, she took two driving trips across the USA and enjoyed all the scenery of our country, and especially our national parks. But, as a bit of a home-body, she most enjoyed the ever-changing seasonal views of her flower gardens and the river, along with the trees and the wild birds.    

She started working at the doctors’ office of Dr. Rawlins and Dr. Kingsbury in the early 1960s as a receptionist, continuing there for many years. Then in 1989, after the practice was sold, she continued working as the office manager for Dr. Curtis Smith until her retirement in 2004. She was well respected and appreciated by her co-workers and the practice’s patients.    

Services will be held at St. John’s United Methodist Church on March 8, beginning with a visitation at 1 p.m. and a celebration of her life immediately following at 2 p.m. There will be a reception in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the services. Friends and family may share memories of Mary Lou at

The family thanks her private caregivers and the Delaware Hospice. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Sussex County Land Trust, PO Box 372, Lewes, DE 19958,