JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Mary Ruth Wannamaker passed away March 30, 2012, at Eventide at Hi-Acres Manor in Jamestown, N.D., under the care of Red River Hospice.
Mary Ruth Lyman was born July 29, 1922, in Fort Collins, Colo., the daughter of Jerre Albert and Daisy Belle Burrington. Mary received her BA in Music Phi Beta Kappa from Colorado State University and her MA in Music from University of Minnesota.
Mary was married to Lt. William H. Anderson in June 1944. He was killed in combat in February 1945. She married John Samuel Wannamaker on Sept. 7, 1946, in Fort Collins, Colo. They moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where her husband, John, taught music at Drake University for 35 years. Mary taught piano at Drake University, Kletzig (Vennard) College, and taught music at Moore and Rice Schools in Des Moines. Mary was a loving mother and took care of her two young daughters at home for eight years.
Mary received her MA in psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1967. She was a counselor at Urbandale Junior High School, Heartland Education Agency and Polk County. She worked to establish an elementary school guidance program in Des Moines. In her retirement she and husband traveled to Europe, Russia and Greece, and took many trips to Colorado together. Mary climbed most of the way up Long’s Peak. She played piano duets with her husband and friend, Beverly Morris, served as an accompanist and judged music contests for Iowa Music Teachers Association and National Music Teachers Association. She took loving care of her husband for several years before his death in 1993. Following John’s death she continued playing duets with Beverly Morris and was an accompanist. She also did volunteer work at the Iowa State Historical Library Genealogy Department.
Mary was an organist and choir director at First Unitarian Church for 10 years and was active in Unity Circle. She also played in the Des Moines Symphony and the Des Moines Community Orchestra. She was a member of Chapter HF PEO, Fortnightly Music Club, Civic Music, Friends of Drake Arts, Iowa Personnel and Guidance Association, American Association of University Women, Altruisa Club, Professional Women’s League, Drake Dames, Delta Omicron and Iowa Music Teachers Association. She was listed in the 2000 Edition of Who’s Who in America.
She moved to Brainerd, Minn., in 2000. Mary was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Brainerd, Minn., and later in Jamestown, N.D.
She was a member of PEO Chapter CJ in Brainerd, Minn., and American Association of University Women in Brainerd, Minn., and Jamestown, N.D.
Mary is survived by two daughters, Lois Marie Wannamaker and Daisy Ruth Van Valkenburg, both of Jamestown; three grandchildren, Charles Mac Van Valkenburg, Reno, Neb., Elizabeth Louise Van Valkenburg, Chandler, Ariz., and Anne Marie (Eric) Koskie, Ogden, Utah; and a niece, Elizabeth Dehler, Eagan, Minn.; and her sister, Florence Marie Lyman, Fort Collins, Colo.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, William Anderson and John Wannamaker; and a half-brother, Earle Lyman; and half-sister, Louise Lyman Strauch.
Memorial service: 1 p.m. Friday, April 6, 2012, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Jamestown, with President Jay Pickrel.
Arrangements with Eddy Funeral Home, Jamestown, N.D. www.eddyfuneralhome.com
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