Cover photo for Mary Elizabeth Gustis's Obituary
Mary Elizabeth Gustis Profile Photo

Mary Elizabeth Gustis

May 18, 1941 — April 2, 2024

Daniel Island, SC

Mary Elizabeth Gustis

Mary Elizabeth Gustis, 82, of Daniel Island, South Carolina, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on April 2, 2024. Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, she was the daughter of the late Walter Lee Kauffman, II and Elizabeth Wright Kauffman. Mary attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida where she studied Psychology and was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. She transferred to Penn State University where she continued her studies in Psychology.

While working in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Penn State University, she met the love of her life, Charles, and they were married on September 9, 1967, in Erie, Pennsylvania. Mary spent her career in administration working for multiple companies in New Jersey and Georgia. She retired as the administrator for the Cottage School, a special education campus in Roswell, Georgia. 

Mary leaves behind her daughter, Jennifer and her husband Ken; her son, Matthew and his wife Jessica; sister, Nancy; brother, Peter; six grandchildren: Madeline and her husband Samuel, Jackson, Nina, Isabella, Freya and Greta; and two great-grandchildren, Ella Ruth and Eden. She is predeceased by her husband, Charles and brother, Walter Lee Kauffman, III.

Mary loved her family and was very proud of them. She also loved to travel with Charles, until his passing in 2020. Mary was an avid reader and loved to absorb herself in the latest novel, usually reading multiple books at a time. She also enjoyed music, puzzles, word games and Sudoku. She relished in telling stories of her childhood on Hilltop Road, her pet ducks and Airedales, her father’s inventions and her great uncle, Harry Kellar, who was a famous magician. Mary loved nature and enjoyed taking walks outside, photographing interesting birds or a colorful sunset. She was recently active in her retirement community finding herself engaged in activities such as game nights, Bingo or dances.

Mary was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was loved dearly by her family and will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mary’s memory to The Kiawah Conservancy

Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at

Arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation, 2501 Bees Ferry Road, Charleston, SC 29414, (843) 722-8371.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Elizabeth Gustis, please visit our flower store.


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