Longtime El Cerrito and Berkeley resident Mary Ann Addison died at her home on Dec. 3, 2013. She was 80.
Mary Ann was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the second of three children of eminent logician Alonzo Church and Mary Julia Kuczinski. A 1951 honor-roll graduate of Princeton High School, she went on to the University of Georgia, majoring in biology, joining sorority Alpha Chi Omega, and graduating in June 1955.
She married John West Addison Jr. on Aug. 27, 1955. After a year in Princeton and abroad, they settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she received a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Michigan. In 1962, when John was appointed to the faculty of Mathematics at the University of California, they moved to Berkeley and after a year settled in El Cerrito.
Mary Ann and John had four sons: West, Thomas, Alonzo, and Samuel. She loved being a mother and her family was the center of her universe. In the 1970s she served in various leadership roles in the Del Mar Elementary School PTA and Northbrae Community Church Sunday school. Around 1977, she revived Cub Scout Pack 104 and was very active in Scouting at the pack, troop, district, and council levels, receiving the District Award of Merit in 1982, and making a lasting impact on countless boys and their families. When her sons were grown, she worked as a substitute elementary school teacher in the Richmond Unified schools and became active in the Friends of the El Cerrito Library.
A woman of widespread talents and interests, thrifty Mary Ann was early on recycling clothes and toys, guiding her sons, nieces, and nephews in vegetable gardening, canning, sewing, knitting, furniture restoration, and more. She was an accomplished calligrapher and producer of brass rubbings, and a wonderful cook and hostess. Her beautifully decorated cakes graced many a tea, reception, or fundraiser for the University, Scouts, or Church.
Mary Ann loved to travel and made lifelong friends across the globe. Particularly memorable were an exciting five months in 1956 as a newlywed in Poland during the height of the Cold War and her family’s sabbatical years in Oxford, Jerusalem, and Münster, exploring the culture and history of Britain, the Middle East, and Germany. Her remarkably kind nature endeared her to friends of many different backgrounds.
Mary Ann died after gracefully coping with Parkinson’s disease with Lewy body dementia for many years. An exceptionally devoted wife, caring mother, and loving sister, she is greatly missed.
She is survived by John, her husband of 58 years; her four sons John West Addison III, Thomas Cary Addison, Alonzo Church Addison, and Samuel Robbins Addison; her two daughters-in-law Selene Fabiano and Elaine Kennelly Addison; her four grandchildren Claudia, Eleanor, Parker, and Henry; and her sister Mildred Dandridge.
A memorial service will be held at Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley 94707 at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in her memory to: Mt. Diablo Silverado Council, Boy Scouts of America, Attn: Mary Ann Addison Memorial Fund, 800 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523; Friends of the El Cerrito Library, 6510 Stockton Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530; or Northbrae Community Church.
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