Lady Mary Fairfax dead aged 95
PHILANTHROPIST Mary Fairfax has died at her waterfront property in Sydney at the age of 95.
Lady Fairfax's children said their mother rapidly deteriorated before she died at Fairweather, the property which has been in the family's estate since 1900, in Double Bay on Sunday night.
"This is a deeply distressing time for the family," the family said in a statement.
Lady Fairfax, born Maire Wein, emigrated to Australia at a young age.
She was educated at the Presbyterian Ladies College and owned several dress stores in Sydney before becoming the third wife and widow of Sir Warwick Fairfax.
They had three children together Warwick, Anna and Charles. She has another child, Garth, to a previous marriage.
Lady Fairfax was a tireless champion in the community and was appointed an Officer of Order of the British Empire (OBe) in 1976, Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1988 and was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2005.
After Sir Fairfax's death in 1987, Lady Fairfax moved to New York and purchased a penthouse known as Chateau in the Sky on top of the Pierre Hotel above Fifth Avenue. The apartment eventually became known as one for the city's most expensive penthouses and was put up for sale in 2013 with an asking price of US$125 million.
However, she eventually returned to Australia and took up residence in the family home, Fairweather.