PORTLAND - Mary A. Dyro, 101, of Portland died Sunday August 24, 2014 at Mercy Hospital. Mary, Mania, Pani Mario, Mother, Ma, Babunia, all a collection of titles ready for harder times when there is a dearth of names. Such is the ham tally, fabric bundles, cup collection, empty jar stash and antique food curiosities in her freezer compartments. Things dear, holy, rustic, archival and useless all gathered to stop time or, as a fail safe mechanism, secure a chapter, page or even lowly footnote in a book to inform the future that such a soul left a mark. She was born in Spieglica, Poland on April 7, 1913, a daughter of Karol and Michalina Cikota Dyro. At the outbreak of World War I, 2-year old Mary, her family and the rest of the villagers were forced to leave their battle-torn village for safety in Lithuania. There she lived with mother, sister Paulina and brother Joe in a barn on a farm near Vilnius. After the war, returning to the site where her village once stood, she and her family scavenged material to fashion a crude hut where they found safety from the wolves roaming the battle-scared land and survived on mushrooms, berries, roots and grass. Her strong Roman Catholic faith gave her spiritual nourishment. She would walk barefoot miles to church through forest and field in winter and summer putting her shoes on only upon entering. Her father located and sent for the family in 1930. Mary turned 17 on the ship Batory that sailed to the States where she met her father for the first time. Blessed with an unbounded, irrepressible spirit of industry, she met the Great Depression head on working long and hard washing dishes at Langely's Restaurant, selling candy at the State Theater (where she learned English by watching the movies) and packing sardines on the waterfront. In 1938 Mary Dyro married Sigmund S. Dyro. She instilled a strong work ethic and encouraged the pursuit of excellence in her children (Wolf Mom preceded Tiger Mom by quite a few decades). She was an active communicant of St. Louis Church and was a member of the Women's Sodality. Mary sold the lion's share of tickets to the St. Louis Church Swieconka and Oplatek Suppers for many years. Her Polish pastries and kielbasi were always a big hit. She was the sticky apple lady of Winter Street until the Portland authorities shut her down for operating without a license. Multi-lingual Mary often referred to as Mother Rosetta Stone spoke Russian, Polish, Lithuanian, Belarussian and English. She was blessed with the gift of hospitality. The Diocese would refer post-Solidarity immigrants to her for lodging and help in finding jobs. She never turned away a stranger. Her generosity was relentless as she sent boxes and boxes of clothing and cash to her relatives and friends in her native Poland. On a church-led pilgrimage to Rome, her Polish Pope John Paul II shook her hand as he walked by in procession at St. Peter's. The Pontiff returned a smile as Mary shouted out to him the traditional Polish Sto Lat! (meaning may you live a hundred years). Until she died at 101 Mary passed on the Papal handshake to whomever she met. She believed that the intercession of now Saint John Paul II enabled her to survive a serious operation in her 90's. He died the day she returned from the hospital with Mary saying, He waited for me to get home safely. She was predeceased by her husband in 1974, a brother Joseph Dyro in 1988, and a sister Pauline Dyro in 2001. Survivors all of whom loved her dearly include a daughter, Dr. Frances M. Dyro of Portland; two sons, Dr. Joseph F. Dyro and wife Elizabeth of Setauket (Long Island), NY, Stephen S. Dyro and wife Nora of Portland; a sister Helen Cody of Portland; four grandchildren, Carolyn Dyro, Peter Dyro, Laura Kennedy and Zofia Dyro; four great grandchildren, Moxie, Zephyr, Nova and Lucy. A fifth is imminent. Visiting hours will be held 2 to 4 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street. Wednesday a 9:00 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Louis Church, 279 Danforth Street, Portland. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. Those desiring may make a donation in Mary's memory to: St. Louis Church, c/o Peninsula and Island Parishes, 307 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101.Online condolences may be expressed below.