Mary Ann Stewart, Lawrence, came to the end of her remarkable life on December 13, 2021.
Born January 26, 1950, to Ruth (Inman) and August Stewart, Mary Ann was raised on the family’s dairy and grain farm near Independence, Kansas.
She was curious, intelligent, beautiful and talented in many ways. As a youth, she was active in 4-H, Girl Scouts and music; she played the piano and violin. She was an excellent student.
After high school, Mary Ann came to the University of Kansas as an Honors student. Her early studies yielded a degree in English in 1970. During this time, she made many extraordinary life-long friends.
And speaking of friends: Mary Ann’s friends range from toddlers to folks several years her senior. She was open, interested, eager to learn.
During the adventure of her life, she was married to George Kimball. They lived in Gloucester, Mass.; Somerville, Mass.; New York, NY; and Washington, DC. They later divorced.
In her adulthood, Mary Ann returned to the University and became a Professional Civil Engineer. She was an Air Quality Engineer for EPA; a scientific investigator for Midwest Research Institute; worked extensively in the field of map conversion as technology shifted from paper maps to digital, working with utilities corporations to keep their resources “found,” and many other critical tasks made necessary as technology has evolved. She founded an independent consulting company, Mary Ann Stewart Engineering LLC, using her writing and engineering skills to assist other engineering firms.
Among Mary Ann’s life-long passions are Aikido, which she helped establish here in Lawrence, various yoga practices, her religious beliefs and practices in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, gardening and music. Mary Ann developed a passion for playing the trumpet, had good teachers, worked hard, and had a ball. She dearly loved the New Horizons band, jamming with friends, celebrating Carnaval, or any other chance to play music together. She has written all her life and was a delighted participant in a local writers’ group.
She was also an avid sailor and kayaker.
As with many of her passions, Mary Ann taught Aikido, sailing, yoga and mathematics. Sharing the learning was always a big part of the fun.
A friend said, “They broke the mold when Mary Ann was born.” There never was a mold. She was an absolute one-off, unique, wonderful, brilliant masterpiece who lived her life with remarkable, firm and confident authenticity. An honor to know.
There will be a celebration of Mary Ann’s life, later in the Spring.
Memorial donations to the Lawrence Public Library can be made online at LPLFF.org or by sending a check to: LPL Friends & Foundation, 707 Vermont Street, Lawrence KS 66044.