September 22, 1936-February 28, 2019
PINOLE, Calif. - After 82 years of joy-filled life, Mary Ann Havemann (or, as many knew her, Mere-Mere) died on February 28, 2019. She had been battling cancer with the same pragmatic approach she had to her life: get through the treatments so she could get to her book clubs, ballets, coffees and travels with friends and to her visits with family across the country. She leaves a huge hole in our hearts, but we are thankful to have loved her and been loved by her all these years.
Mary was born in Davenport, Iowa, on September 22, 1936, to Carl and Edna Belle Bancks. She was raised in Blue Grass, Iowa, on a farm owned and operated by her family for 150 years. In 1957, Mary married her high school sweetheart, Ronald (Ron) Havemann. After starting their family and careers in Iowa, they settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where Mary was a public school teacher for many years. With considerable hesitation, Mary later allowed Ron to lead her to Oakland, California. This turned out to be a wonderful move for Mary and her family. Mary grew to love the Bay Area where she enjoyed a life full of friends, adventures and a rewarding career with a French American School, Ecole Bilingue, in Berkeley, California.
After the death of her husband in 1989, Mary moved to Pinole, where her home continued to be an inviting gathering place for all. Having taught for 50 years (with creative energy all the way through), Mary retired in 2008 to enjoy more time with family and friends while still volunteer tutoring until just shortly before her passing.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Edna Belle and Carl Bancks, and by her husband, Ronald Havemann. She is survived by her children, Gregg Havemann (Anita) of Portland, Oregon, Scott Havemann (Suzie), of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Lynn Havemann (Mark Connolly) of Madison, Wisconsin; her brother, Robert Bancks (Jane) of Blue Grass; and her grandchildren, Ben, Chase, Kirbi, and Kylie Havemann; and Owen, Claire, and Bess Connolly.
She is also survived by her sisters and brothers-in-law, Thomas Havemann (Judy), Mary Jacobson (Allen), Donald Suhl (Beverly) and Carol Havemann-Lynch.
Mere-Mere’s family is planning a memorial service to celebrate Mary’s life in the San Francisco Bay Area. The celebration will be in conjunction with the establishment of a Mary Havemann Scholarship Fund at Ecole Bilingue where she met many of her dear friends and where she touched the lives of countless students. Pending finalization of this scholarship fund, contributions in Mary’s memory may be made to: Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley, 1009 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710