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Mary Lou Gastin passed away peacefully on August 9, 2022, at age 77. She is predeceased by her husband, George Gastin; parents, William and Edna Hallahan. Mary Lou is survived by her four children, Michael (Lydia) Gastin, Lisa (Daryl) Tiffin, Katherine (James) Drozdowski, and Brian (Jessica) Gastin and grandchildren Joshua, Zachary (Faith), and Riley Gastin, Alyssa and Matthew Tiffin, Owen Davis and Mya Gastin, and Jacob Drozdowski. She also leaves behind a sister-in-law, several nieces and nephews, and their children.
Mary Lou was born in Watertown, NY, and grew up in Utica, NY, where she met her husband, George. After his service in the Army, they settled in Rochester, NY, where Mary Lou spent many years focused on raising their children and for over 30 years ran Strawberry Hill Books, which was first a physical bookstore and then an out-of-print, online book search company. People from across the country and beyond came to Mary Lou to find books from their childhood, stock their classrooms, or add to their collections.
Mary Lou’s deep and genuine faith was extremely important to her, and she lived it out in her focus on missions and the way she opened her home to all. Whether someone needed a place to stay or just a listening ear, Mary Lou was ready with a cup of tea, a meal, and a conversation. She was widely read and fully engaged with current events, and everyone knew to expect a book recommendation, an opinion on the latest news, or words of encouragement.
A private funeral service and burial were held for immediate family on August 20, 2022. For those wishing to make a contribution, the family would love to honor the gracious work of The Advent House, where Mary Lou spent her final days. Donations can be directed to The Advent House, 1010 Moseley Road, Fairport, NY 14450, or made online at www.theadventhouse.org.