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Mary J. Washburn, 84

LEE, Mass. — Mary Julia Washburn, 84, passed away Saturday, October 19, 2019, at Melbourne Place. 

Mary was born (and raised) May 16, 1935, in Bronx, N.Y., to Joseph & Viola Mannlein. She was a devoted wife to the late Donald Washburn “the love of her life.”

Don and Mary married in the Spring of 1981 and soon after opened up their beautiful circa Great Barrington home as a B&B. They immersed themselves in community loving every minute of hosting guests and family in their lovely home. Upon Don's death in 1996 Mary sold their Taconic Avenue home and settled into a smaller house in Lee, Mass.

Mary received a BA from Hunter College, N.Y., and her MA from Columbia University Teachers College, N.Y. She began her 35-plus-year career in HR at International Flavors and Fragrances, N.Y., where she became Director of Human Resources. After her 1981 marriage to Don, she became HR Director at Fairview Hospital, Great Barrington, Mass., until her retirement in 1996.

Upon retirement, Mary dedicated herself to community. She was a well-respected ombudsman at Kimball Farms through Elder Services of Berkshire County as well as director of Volunteer Services of HospiceCare in the Berkshires. She also assisted many a senior citizen in choosing the right insurance plan via the Massachusetts Shine Project. 

She is survived by her loving sister, Jane Campo; beloved nieces Susan Campo-Collegio (Paul), Victoria Mannlein-Buckwald (Richard), Karen Mannlein-Aliperti (Al) and Viola Mannlein; nephews Charles Campo (April), Vincent Campo and Christopher Campo (Amy); as well as 10 great nieces & nephews and two great-great nephews. 

She was predeceased by her two brothers, Arthur and Joseph Mannlein. 

Mary got great joy from all her family’s" little ones” and loved watching them grow. She so regretted not living closer to family in her later years but as all who knew and loved her can attest, chose to stoically live alone. We all have our special “Aunt Mary stories” filled with much love, laughter and tears! 

Mary was a passionate lover of opera, the fine arts, an avid gardener and a world traveler. When not traveling or volunteering you could often find her at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Metropolitan Opera, NY, the Met Museum, N.Y., or the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., singing in her church choir, dining with good friends, visiting with family or simply gardening at her Lee, Mass., home. 

Funeral notice: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, November 9, 2019, at 11 a.m. at St Mary’s Church, Lee, Mass. Interment will follow at Elmwood Cemetery, Great Barrington, Mass.

Memorial donations in memory of Mary can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital through Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230.


Obituary Provided By: Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home

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