Music 32

Mary Ann Thurber

August 15, 1930 ~ December 14, 2020 (age 90)


Mary Ann Thurber

August 15, 1930 - December 14, 2020


Mary Ann Thurber (Fleischman), 90, of LaSalle, Michigan died on December 14, 2020 due to complications from pancreatic cancer, at home, in the comfort and care of family and hospice.  Mary Ann, preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Donald Neal Thurber, is survived by daughters Annamae (Eddie) Pierce and Amy Thurber Smith, sons Neal (Diane), Matthew (Cory), Noel (Lisa) and Samuel (Maggie) and preceded in death by sister Genevive Schoonmaker (Bert dec) and brother Earl (dec).  Mary Ann is the daughter of Clarence and Bertha (Grycza) of Toledo, Ohio.  Mary Ann and Donald have thirteen grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.  They resided on the shore of western Lake Erie where they raised their family, with a focus on enjoying the Lake and its natural beauty.


Mary Ann had her life-long wish of a large family and thoroughly enjoyed raising her family and helping other children learn.  She completed a bachelor’s degree in Education from Eastern Michigan University and periodically taught different grades of children.  She was a critical partner in using her sharp mind, drawing and artwork skills to support Don in developing D‘Nealian Handwriting, a new method of teaching handwriting that revolutionized the ease and legibility of learning handwriting. She enjoyed playing piano, oil painting and astrology, and had a reputation for caring for all the neighborhood wildlife. 


Mary Ann was also keenly focused on Great Lakes water levels.  She developed a better understanding of the linkage between hydropower development and other structures in the Great Lakes and how they have altered natural water levels.  Her passionate advocacy efforts involved many personal and public contacts, and, her role as Chapter President for the International Great Lakes Coalition.       


Special thanks to private aides, Promedica Hospice and Angel’s Helping Hands for the their loving care and support of Mary Ann throughout her illness.  Memorial donations may be made to Monroe Salvation Army 815 East 1st St Monroe Michigan 48162.  The family plans a private memorial.


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