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Mary LeTard, former Montgomery Twp mayor who supported open space preservation, died on May 8

Mary Helen LeTard, 73

April 16, 1948 ~ May 8, 2021

Mary Helen (Martin) LeTard

Mary Helen (Martin) LeTard, 73, who served as mayor of Montgomery Township in 1999, died in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 8 after a long battle with dementia.

Mary served as a Montgomery Township Committee member from 1997 through 1999. She was the third female mayor of Montgomery.

She was an active member of the Somerset County Republican Executive Committee; served as president of the Montgomery Woman’s Club; volunteered with the Montgomery First Aid Squad Auxiliary; and supported the Van Harlingen Historical Society.

Mary and her late husband Richard LeTard moved to Skillman from North Dakota in 1974, and devoted years of service to the Montgomery Township Committee and Montgomery Planning Board, before retiring to Loudon, Tennessee in 2003.

Together, the LeTards served for 28 years in many civic capacities, according to a Montgomery Township resolution issued in their honor in 2003. Richard served as chairman of the Montgomery Planning Board for 10 years.

Some will remember Mary as the “Welcome Wagon Lady,” since she spent many years going door-to-door across the township to welcome new residents, according to the township resolution.

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Preserving open space in Montgomery was an important issue to Mary, according to a 1999 interview with the League of Women Voters.

“Montgomery has carefully directed the purchase of properties and development rights so as to avoid high concentrations of development particularly in the remaining undeveloped portions of the town,” she said. “This means we will continue to target properties between proposed developments that have high value environmental and historic features and which would otherwise be developed.”

Mary oversaw the hiring of an assistant township planner to spearhead the acquisition of open space.

She was born in 1948 to the late Carlton and Olive Martin in Coshocton, Ohio, where she was raised on the family farm. After graduating from Riverside High School in 1966, she married John Butler, who died soon thereafter.

In 1972, she met Richard LeTard. They wed January 6, 1973, going on to have two children: Nancy and John.

Mary was a passionate quilter and, when she wasn’t filling her home with warmth and kindness, she could be found in her sewing room. We will miss her greatly.

Mary was predeceased by her parents and husband Richard.

She is survived by her brother, Ron of Indianapolis, Indiana; her children, Nancy of Tampa, Florida, and John of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and her grandchildren: Sami, Willow, Nash, and Layla.

She and her husband will have their ashes scattered with their family at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Mary’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association. ■


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