Edith S. Willard, former owner of ETC. Shop in downtown Annapolis, died July 30 of leukemia at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. The Hereford resident was 86.
Edith Stockton Mays was born in Baltimore and raised on her family's farm in Hereford. She was a 1942 graduate of Sparks High School.
Mrs. Willard earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1946 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
After graduation, she moved to Baltimore and worked as an advertising copy writer for the Read Drug and Chemical Co., until taking a job in 1952 at the U.S. Embassy in London as an executive assistant with Voice of America.
While in London, she met and fell in love with Harold M. Willard, a reporter. Married in 1954, the couple moved to Washington when her husband joined the Washington Post as an editor. He died in 2009.
After moving to Annapolis in 1969, Mrs. Willard began volunteering with the YWCA, eventually serving as president.
In 1976, she purchased the ETC. Shop in downtown Annapolis that sold furnishings, kitchen utensils, dishes and lamps. People "would come there to buy things with which to furnish their boats," said a son, Robin E.A. Willard of Hereford.
Mrs. Willard expanded the business to include stores at White Marsh, Annapolis Mall and Severna Park. After selling the business in 1983, she moved back to the family farm in Hereford.
Services are private.
In addition to her son, Mrs. Willard is survived by another son, Scott C. Willard of Hereford; a brother, John E. Mays of Hereford; a sister, Carolyn Sass of Hereford; and three grandchildren.