[Follow Ups] [Post Followup] [Marin County Obits Board]

Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Thursday, February 02, 2006 at 10:37:14 :

Marin Independent Journal
Sunday, September 22, 2002

Mary Elizabeth Byrne Ungersma
Longtime Marin resident passed away September 14, 2002 at Aldersly Danish Home in San Rafael. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM on September 28th at the First Presbyterian Church in San Rafael. Donations may be sent to the Aldersly Danish home, 326 Mission Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901, or to the San Francisco Theological Seminary, 2 Kensington Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960. Mary was born in Seattle, Washington on September 26, 1907. She graduated from the University of Washington, majoring in French, in which she was quite fluent. She went to work at the Northern Pacific Railroad, meeting a co-worker, Henrietta Ungersma, who introduced her to her future husband Aaron Ungersma on a ferryboat in Puget Sound. At first, both were reluctant to meet, Mary because she thought being married to a minister would be a hard life, and Aaron because he didn't want to take the advice of a sister. But meet they did, and they married in 1930. That marriage would last 70 years until September 2000, when Aaron passed away. Mary and Aaron lived briefly in Okanogan, Washington, where she gave birth to twins, Joan and John. They then lived in Princeton, New Jersey, Marburg, Germany, where Aaron earned his Ph.D., and Denver, Colorado before coming to Marin County in 1938. Thereafter, Mary was at first a homemaker and in 1943 she gave birth to a son, Michael. Mary's husband was a professor at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, and Mary became a teacher while raising the couple's three children in San Anselmo. She taught tubercular children at Arequipa Sanitarium in Fairfax. After that, she taught fifth grade at Brookside Elementary School for many years. Many of her students still remember her as an excellent teacher. After retirement, Mary and Aaron lived for some years in Los Gatos, California, but they returned to Marin County in 1992. Mary loved to entertain her friends and extended family, including artists, politicians, musicians, clergy, and academics. These gatherings were beloved by all for their ambience and fellowship. As a young woman Mary said she had three goals, to finish college, to marry, and to travel. She made many trips to Europe, living in Germany for two years and in Austria for one year. She also traveled to the Philippines, Okinawa, and Japan. Sometimes she traveled with her husband Aaron, but she was an adventurous spirit, and she also traveled alone. Mary was a talented seamstress and knitter. Most people who saw her knit could not believe how fast she could knit. A sweater would only take her a couple of days. In her later years she became interested in fine art and lead a "Monday Club" to discuss artists such as Georgia O'Keefe. Mary is survived by sister, Julie Valiere of Seattle, WA, a brother Thomas Byrne of Tacoma, WA, daughter, Joan Halperin of Orinda, CA, two sons, John Ungersma of Bishop, CA and Michael Ungersma of Campbell, CA. She has nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup


copyright © 2006 Pamela Storm and Ron Filion. All rights reserved.
powered by SpudBoard