Mary Elizabeth Rash, Farmer Girl founder

September 20, 2021

Mary Elizabeth Rash, 80, of Rehoboth Beach passed away Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes.  She was born Dec. 27, 1940, in Marydel, daughter of the late Richard J. and Anna B. Haass.

Mary was the owner and operator of Farmer Girl Exotic Gardens for over 51 years.  Starting with just a small produce stand at the farmer’s market on King Street in Wilmington, she opened her Rehoboth Beach location on Coastal Highway in 1970.  Ever evolving, Mary grew the business to include not only produce, but flowers, shrubbery, outdoor statuaries, water fountains, home décor, and gift items for the region’s homeowners and area visitors.  Always the animal lover, her affection for parrots began many years ago during visits to family in Florida, and continued throughout her life, which resulted in the addition of her Parrot Shop.  Selling her parrots was quite the experience, as Mary ensured that each and every one would go to good homes and be properly cared for, always giving her customers thorough instructions.  She was a talented designer, enjoyed her annual buying trips for the store and the search for unique inventory, koi ponds and fish, and her bulldog pets.  Above all, Mary cherished time spent with those she held most dear.  She was a devoted mother and caring friend, and she will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her brothers: R. Paul Haass and William Haass; and her sister, Helen Haass.  She is survived by her beloved daughter, Tami R. Rash of Hoboken, N.J.; and her sister, Doris Loukadis of Dover.

A funeral service will be held Thursday, Sept. 23,  at Parsell Funeral Homes, 16961 Kings Highway, Lewes, where friends may call beginning at 10 a.m.  Private interment will be held following at Greensboro Cemetery, Greensboro, Md.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, masks are required, and social distancing must be observed by all persons attending or participating in any aspect of the services.

Please visit Mary’s Life Memorial Webpage and sign her virtual guestbook at


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