Marjory L. Puckey was trained as a nurse and had virtually no background in business. But in her 50s she had to take over management of her husband’s oil delivery company, a role she kept until her retirement six years ago.

Mrs. Puckey died Thursday at the Coves Edge Nursing Facility in Damariscotta. The longtime resident of Newcastle was 94.

“She was a smart businesswoman. She worked at the oil company until she was 88 years old,” said her daughter-in-law, Priscilla Puckey of Newcastle.

Mrs. Puckey was born in the Lincoln County town of Jefferson in 1916. After her father died when she was a young girl, her mother moved the family to Newcastle and taught at a number of schools there, Priscilla Puckey recalled.

Mrs. Puckey graduated from Lincoln Academy in 1933. She then studied nursing at St. Barnabas School of Nursing, which at the time was on Woodfords Street in Portland.

After graduating, she got a job as a nurse in Boston, where she met her husband, John A. Puckey. They were married in Newton, Mass., in 1938.

The couple moved back to Maine, settling into their new home on Glidden Street in Newcastle, and Mrs. Puckey took a job as a registered nurse at Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta. She also did some private-duty nursing, her daughter-in-law said.

Her husband and his business partner, Ed Collins, established the John A. Puckey Oil Co. in 1939. The company delivered oil throughout the Newcastle-Damariscotta area, as well as Lincoln County.

When Mrs. Puckey’s husband died in 1968, she took over management of the company. Her son, John S. “Jack” Puckey, drove an oil truck for a number of years.

“She was about the only woman in Maine at the time who owned an oil company,” her daughter-in-law said. “But the company was very successful. She made a buck at it.”

Mrs. Puckey’s granddaughter, Leah Puckey of Bristol, said her grandmother assumed ownership of the company because “it was just the thing to do.”

Puckey said she was impressed with her grandmother’s determination and will to succeed.

“It was a man’s world, and she didn’t have any experience,” her granddaughter said. “But she was very strong-willed and independent.”

Mrs. Puckey retired in 2005 at the age of 88. The family sold the oil company to Dead River in 2007.

While running the business, Mrs. Puckey also kept active. She was an avid golfer and member of the Wawenock Country Club for a number of years.

“She played golf whenever it wasn’t raining. She took her golf very seriously,” he daughter-in law-said.

Mrs. Puckey liked to play bridge after work and loved to travel.

“She was a world traveler,” her granddaughter said.

She visited such places as the Fiji Islands, France, North Africa, Ireland, Spain, Norway, England and Australia.

Mrs. Puckey also gave back to the community. She served as treasurer and was a member of the board of directors for the Skidompha Public Library in Damariscotta.

“She loved to read from the time she was 3 or 4 years old,” her daughter-in-law said.

Contributions in her memory can be made to the Skidompha Public Library.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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