By Sallie James
BOCA RATON — Mary Elizabeth Glover Bastin, an elegant world traveler and beloved mother who found true love twice in a lifetime, died on Jan. 8, two days after her 94th birthday. She embraced life and lived well until her last moments, her daughter said.
Those who knew Mrs. Bastin said she epitomized grace and kindness, was always perfectly dressed, with polished nails, impeccable hair and makeup in place.
“She would vacuum in high heels,” her daughter Martha Perry recalled, chuckling. “She would come down in the morning all dressed for the day, and that was that.”
Mrs. Bastin was a Hoosier by birth, born on Jan. 6, 1927, in Vincennes, Indiana, to Thomas Maxwell Shircliff and Martha Bayard Somes. She graduated from the Ladywood School in Indianapolis, graduated from Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York, and attended the Sorbonne in Paris as one of the first students immediately after World War II.
While at Marymount, Mrs. Bastin learned of the Sorbonne opportunity. She was prepared to live with the sisters at the Marymount Paris when her mother received a letter from the nuns, Martha recalled. The nuns were welcoming, but warned that they had little food on hand.
“We want you to know nothing is normal here, and we don’t have a lot of food but the sisters will always make sure you are fed first,” the letter said.
Mrs. Bastin was undeterred. She traveled abroad and had the time of her life.
Following her college graduation, she accepted an executive position with Macy’s and moved to Greenwich Village in New York. She enjoyed business and believed she needed to earn an MBA in order to achieve her career goals as a woman in that era. She applied to and was accepted into the business program at St. Louis University.
But before starting school, she went home to Vincennes, where she met William Ebner Glover, who had also returned home to Vincennes to run a family business. The couple married in 1953 and moved to South Florida in 1959, where they had five children.
The family of seven lived in Palmetto Park Terrace in Boca Raton, one of the communities Bill developed. In 1968, the family moved to their home in Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club, which Mrs. Bastin still owned at the time of her death.
After her husband’s death, Mrs. Bastin traveled extensively, exploring the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. Her most memorable trip was to South Africa with her daughter Martha and family, where they toured Cape Town, the wine country and game reserves.
Her life changed again when she returned to Vincennes for her 50th high school reunion and reconnected with her recently widowed high school sweetheart, Armand Joseph Bastin. The two were married in 1997 and divided their time between his home on Lake Barklay in Kentucky and Mrs. Bastin’s home in Boca Raton.
Martha recalled Joe removed a cache of old photos from a drawer in a closet. Inside were images of her mother when she was a young woman. He had saved them for decades.
“They were pinned in high school and even in college they were a little bit going out,” Martha said. “He said, ‘I always loved your mother. I can’t believe I have a second chance.’”
The couple was together 13 years until Joe died in 2010.
Martha remembered her mother to be an adventurer who always advised her children to live life to the fullest instead of watching it pass by.
“She always took advantage of whatever happened. She would say if you are invited to do something or have the opportunity to do something, you should do it because you never know when the opportunity will present itself again,” her daughter said.
“As sad as we are to have her gone, we are so grateful to have her all the years we had her, and she was healthy to the end,” Martha added.
Mrs. Bastin was a staunch supporter of her community and was a member of numerous organizations during her life, including St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church & School, Saint Andrew’s School, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Boca Raton Historical Society, The Antique Club, The Garden Club, The Order of Malta, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was also once nominated for Boca Raton’s Woman of the Year.
The Glovers were among the early supporters of Lynn University and Boca Raton Regional Hospital. Mary was a member of the Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club for more than 50 years.
Mrs. Bastin is survived by her five children, Martha Perry (Dennis) of Ocean Ridge, Gregory Glover (Lori) of Boca Raton, Thomas Glover (Karen) of Palm Beach, John Glover (Louise) of Delray Beach, and David Glover (Stephanie) of Hoboken, New Jersey. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Tyler, Ross and Katherine Perry, and Thomas, Gigi and Slane Glover.
Services were held on Jan. 17.
Donations can be made in her memory to The William and Mary Glover Scholarship Fund at Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton online at https://www2.heart.org/site/SPageNavigator/donatenow_legacy.html?giftFirstName=Mary&giftLastName=Bastin&s_src=leg or to the American Heart Association or the Palm Beach County Food Bank.