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Maderan celebrates 100th birthday

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

The family of Mary Clow applaud as Madera Mayor Santos Garcia presents Mary with a Mayor’s Certificate in celebration of her 100th birthday on August 17. Clow celebrated her birthday with family and friends at Cedar Creek Senior Living. She was also honored with a certificate from the Madera Chamber of Commerce.


Cedar Creek Senior Living held a birthday party for one of its own who celebrated her 100th birthday.

Mary Clow was surrounded by family and friends last week to celebrate the milestone.

Mary was born on August 17, 1922, in Madera to Frank and Lina Sasso of the Howard District. She is the second child. Sister Rose was born in 1920, and sisters Anne and Teresa were born in 1926 and 1931.

As a child Mary attended Howard School where she was one of 13 graduates in June 1936. At Madera Union High School, she was active in the Advanced Biology Club, Scholarship Society, and the Senior Class Play. Mary graduated from Madera High School in June 1940.

In January of 1941, Mary left Madera for San Francisco where she enrolled in St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing.

Graduating in May of 1943, Mary joined the Naval Reserve, with her first tour in Oakland. A few months later, Mary enlisted in the Naval Nursing Corp. and became Ensign Mary Sasso with her first tour at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Long Beach.

This started a Naval career that spanned 28 years and included tours in Long Beach, Charleston, South Carolina, Dallas, Texas, Bermuda, Japan, Adak, Alaska, and Bethesda, Maryland.

It was during her second tour at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda (now Walter Reed Hospital) that Mary received a promotion to Lieutenant Commander.

In May of 1960, Mary married Captain Fred Clow in Dallas, Texas, where they were both stationed. Mary’s last tour was Naval Air Station in Lemoore, where she retired in 1972.

Mary settled in Fresno and became involved in Fresno Newcomers, St. Anthony of Padua Parish, and various Bridge groups in Fresno.

In 2017, Mary moved to Cedar Creek Senior Living to be close to her sister Anne, and her nieces and nephews.



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