Mary Scott, an accomplished artist and well-known antiques dealer in Fair Oaks, died July 20 of surgery complications, her family said. She was 84.
Mrs. Scott studied art at American River College with noted ceramicist James Kaneko in the early 1960s. In addition to painting, she created ceramics and batik fabrics that won awards at the California State Fair and the Crocker-Kingsley Art Competition. Her works were shown at the acclaimed Candy Store Gallery in Folsom, Barrios Gallery and Artists’ Collaborative Gallery.
In 1974, she started selling antiques in the historic Murphy Building in Fair Oaks Village. A few years later, she moved to a larger space in the building – a two-story structure with a row of shops and upstairs apartments – and opened Mary Scott Antiques. She bought and sold vintage items at her shop, which featured collectibles that she acquired mostly on trips to the East with her husband, Lee.
She recalled a pair of old, black-painted pine chairs from 1850 that sat for a long time in her shop, unappreciated by customers. Finally, she took them home.
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“It doesn’t have to be valuable,” she said in The Sacramento Bee in 1997. “It just has to grow on you after a while.”
Mrs. Scott, who was active in the Fair Oaks Historical Society, eventually purchased and renovated the Murphy Building with her husband. The two-story building across from Plaza Park was built in 1901 by Frances Murphy, a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union who was credited with keeping “liquor out of Fair Oaks” for many years, The Bee reported in 1994.
Mrs. Scott was a visible figure in Fair Oaks at community events and at the Murphy Building located in the center of town. She lived with her husband in an apartment at the landmark structure in addition to running her antiques store until 2001.
“She was very much a pillar of the community, always at every function,” Fair Oaks merchant David Hill said. “She was just a sweetheart.”
A Sacramento native, Mary Louise Proaps was born in 1930 and raised in Carmichael. Her father, Sherman Proaps, owned a local chain of appliance stores.
She grew up across Fair Oaks Boulevard from what is now Carmichael Park, where her family kept cows. She graduated from San Juan High School and for many years had dinner once a month with longtime friends who called themselves “the ladies of San Juan.”
“She was very friendly,” her daughter Kim said. “She could remember everything that happened to her in her life, and she could remember everybody’s name and what happened in their lives.”
In addition to her husband of 66 years and her daughter, Mrs. Scott is survived by a son, Daniel, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A celebration of her life is set for 10:30 a.m. Aug. 16 at Fair Oaks Community Clubhouse, 7997 California Ave.