I saw her as an inspiration. Many people her age would not have traveled to Cuba like she did last year. Why? To experience the color, old cars, and the art. One day MaryAnn stopped by my house and during a conversation, she told me that she was driving by herself to Arizona for a workshop. I asked why don’t you ask a friend to come along instead of traveling alone? Her response was they’re all afraid to travel. I can’t wait for them to make up their mind. This woman would go on her own to a new adventure, artsy-fartsy retreat, or sporting event at the drop of a hat. Nothing held her back. I hope to be as fearless when I'm her age.
May people though MaryAnn was a tough woman, but let me tell you she was an old softy inside. When you got to know her you understand she knew what she wanted out of life. MaryAnn was an inspiration to many – I personally learned much from her.
The Illiana Artist's Regional Juried Event was a show near and dear to her heart. MaryAnn enjoyed seeing the variety of work walk through the Chesterton Art Center's doors. Suzanne and I were helping MaryAnn receive artwork the day she got the call her cancer was in remission. To make sure it wouldn't come back she had radiation treatments. With incredible energy, she went to Chesterton (pre-show) to make sure everything was just right. She fought hard and never looked back.
All I can say is that Heaven is going to be a little more colorful, a little more creative, and I’m certain that it will now smell like cookies baking 24/7. Going to miss you, dear friend.
In Memory of Mary Ann Gradisher