Mary Julia Washburn, 84, of Lee, dedicated community volunteer
Mary Julia Washburn, 84, passed away Saturday October 19, 2019 at Melbourne Place. Mary was born May 16, 1935 in Bronx, N.Y., to Joseph and 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 Great Barrington home as a B&B. They immersed themselves in the 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 in New York City, and her MA from Columbia University Teachers College. She began her more than 35-year career in Human Resources at International Flavors and Fragrances in New York where she became Director of Human Resources. After her 1981 marriage to Don she became HR director at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington 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 and nephews Charles Campo (April), Vincent Campo and Christopher Campo (Amy), as well as 10 great nieces and 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 in New York, the Metropolitan Museum, or the Clark Museum in Williamstown, singing in her church choir, dining with good friends, visiting with family or simply gardening at her Lee home.
SERVICES: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, November 9th, 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. To send remembrances to her family please go to www.finnertyandstevens.com