WANSLEE, MARY ANN BERNADETTE
Born on May 2, 1931, Mary Ann Bernadette Wanslee began her life in San Francisco, California. She was an extraordinary woman who instantly enveloped others in her warmth, her goodness, her passion for God, her family and life. The eldest of nine siblings, Mary Ann was raised in Seattle and Los Angeles by her parents Montgomery and Ann Nelford. Mary Ann’s earliest years were spent with her beloved paternal grandmother Mamie, who exposed Mary Ann to Norwegian culture, including sailing, fishing, enjoying raw oysters, and taking traditional sauna and ice plunges; all of which helped to form her adventurous personality. After graduating from Bishop Conaty Memorial High School, Mary Ann attended the University of Nevada at Reno. During the 50’s through the 70’s Mary Ann worked as a black jack and craps dealer in Lake Tahoe, Reno and Las Vegas. The love of Mary Ann’s life was Patrick Wanslee, and they were married on the very day they met. While Mary Ann and Pat may have had one of the shortest courtships in history, each day was a celebration of their love and commitment. They experienced a brief separation when Pat passed away in 2011 but are now reunited and certainly playing their favorite card game of gin rummy. Mary Ann always had a twinkle in her eye and a zest for living. Down to earth but elegant, she gathered strength from her deep faith and helping others. Mary Ann spent countless hours in service right up to her passing. Her many civic and service activities include labor organizing for dealers in Las Vegas, serving as a Catholic Daughter, teaching religious education, comforting the ill as a hospital Eucharistic minister at St. Joseph’s and Phoenix Indian Medical Center, and serving as a volunteer chaplain at the Maricopa County Jails and State and Federal Prisons. She was passionate about all right to life issues and helped to found a women’s center providing pregnancy counseling and adoption services. Throughout her entire life, Mary Ann wholeheartedly and enthusiastically shared her God given talents to assist others. Mary Ann’s passions included a natural love for travel and an insatiable curiosity about anything involving history, science and etymology. She was extremely creative and fearless of undertaking any project once she made up her mind. Mary Ann also enjoyed the Arts. She loved live opera, ballets, plays and musicals and dragged her children and grandchildren to countless performances. Mary Ann’s greatest gift to her children and grandchildren was her unconditional love. She was fun and generous with her time, money and love. She was the best mother that anyone could have wished for and we are eternally grateful for the privilege of calling her Mom. She was preceded in death by Pat Wanslee and her beloved daughter, Maris Marie Stern. Mary Ann is survived her son, David (Michele); and her twin daughters, Madeleine (Brian Mullen) and Melissa (Bob McCullough). She is also survived by four grandchildren whom she adored, Rachel, Rebecca, Carmel and Benjamin. A Visitation will be held from 5:00-8:00 p.m., Thursday, May 16, 2013 with a Rosary at 6:00 p.m. at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix. A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 17, 2013 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 4715 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Interment will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 20, 2013 at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, 2033 N. 48th St., Phoenix.