|Name||Smith, Mary Ann|
|Birthplace||USA: Minnesota, Minneapolis|
|Places of residence||USA: Nebraska (Lancaster), Lincoln (2006-2009)|
|Father||Hertel, Oscar John|
|Mother||Hertel, Martha Mobråten|
St. John's Grade School, Burlington, Iowa
Notre Dame Catholic High School, Burlington, Iowa (grad 1962)
Burlington Community College
University of Iowa
Mary Ann was born on December 23, 1944, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Oscar John Hertel of Burlington, Iowa and Martha Mobråten Hertel of Minneapolis. Her father was away serving in the Navy when she was born.
When she was four, her family moved to Burlington, Iowa. Oscar became Postmaster of the City of Burlington. Mary Ann attended St. John's Grade School and Notre Dame Catholic High School graduating in 1962. She attended what was then called, Burlington Community College (now Southeastern Iowa Community College) for two years. Mary Ann transferred to the University of Iowa where she majored in Occupational Therapy. After graduation she completed residencies in Minneapolis, Chicago and Birmingham, Alabama and then took a position in St. Paul, Minnesota.
As a child, Mary Ann was inspired by the work of Dr. Tom Dooley in Southeast Asia. She spent her summers working at Camp Sunshine, the Lions International summer camp for children with disabilities in Iowa. This began her lifelong work in helping people and led to her choice of a profession.
Mary Ann married U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael J. Smith on May 9, 1970 in Burlington, Iowa. She returned to her position at St. Paul, Minnesota, Ramsay County Hospital during 1970 and 1971 while her husband served overseas.
In the fall of 1971, the Smith's moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where she gave birth to her only child, Mary Jessica, on March 21, 1972.
Subsequent moves took the family to Michigan, Iowa, New York, Massachusetts and finally in early 2006, to Lincoln, Nebraska.
Mary Ann worked in a variety of professional positions ranging from staff occupational therapist, to a trainer of staff professionals who provide care for seniors and others occupying assisted living facilities, to home health provider. At the time of her death, she was a home health occupational therapist for Gentiva Health Services in Lincoln.
Mary Ann's interests were broad-ranging. As she once said, she was interested in everything…..except sports. While she considered her most important roles to be those of mother, spouse and care provider for others, she found the time and energy to make a legion of friends with whom she remained in touch via her famous hand-written letters and e-mails.
At age 29 Mary Ann was diagnosed with the rare blood disorder Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), which she battled steadfastly for 35 years. A writer, artist, voracious reader, Sunday School Teacher and life-long learner, she never let the anemia and the effects of treatments associated with the PHN overwhelm her zest for life and for people, and her determination to make a difference in the communities in which she lived.
Mary Ann passed away on July 23, 2009 as a result of the PNH. She was survived by her husband and daughter, her dog Jake, two brothers and two sisters, their families and her friends from Maine to California. She is buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Burlington, Iowa.
|Spouse||Smith Michael J.|
|Children||Smith, Mary Jessica|
|Deceased where||USA: Nebraska (Lancaster), Lincoln|