Mary Ann (Lutz) Williamson, born March 10, 1929, died December 2, 2014. Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents, William Melvin Lutz and Fleta Sheetz Lutz, both of Edinburg, Virginia. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Robert Lynn Williamson. Their five children are Charlotte (Goering, married to Robert), John Lutz Williamson, Penelope Ann (Cottrell), Robert Stickley Williamson (married to Candice), and Mary Lutritia (Wilson, married to Steve.)
Mary Ann also is survived by nine grandchildren: Stephanie Lauren (Pagdadis, married to Sotiris), Christopher Taylor Barton Hogue (married to Jennifer Lynn), John Kelsey Cottrell, Benjamin Robert Williamson (married to Catherine), Sara Marie Williamson, Nathan Edward Williamson, William Hunter Wilson, James Spencer Wilson, and Natalie Anne Wilson. Their great-grandchildren are Lucas Corbett Williamson, Andreas Sotiris Pagdadis and Nikolas Sotiris Pagdadis. Two more great-grandchildren are expected in 2015. In addition to her many friends throughout her wonderful life, she is survived by her best friend of over fifty years, Katy Strickland, with whom she taught school in Chesterfield County, Virginia.
Mary Ann’s father graduated from Roanoke College and built a successful career with the Union Life Insurance Company. Her mother, a Madison College graduate, taught school in Edinburg. Mary Ann graduated from Mary Washington College in 1950, taught school for two years after graduation, then married Bob, a VMI graduate and Korean War officer.
Mary Ann furthered her education with a Master’s of Humanities degree from the University of Richmond and her doctorate from the University of Virginia. She taught elementary and middle school, and later accepted professorships at Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University. She was Director of Computer Learning for Control Data and the Private Industry Council in Richmond.
After her retirement, and her husband Bob from his position as Director of Planning and Construction for Chesterfield County Schools, the couple moved to the old Richie Stoneburner house on Main Street in Edinburg. Mary Ann created the Edinburg Heritage Foundation, which, with support and leadership from many town leaders, has resulted in revitalizing Edinburg as a regional destination. She led a campaign to save the Edinburg Mill, now a museum, community center and key national treasure. Mary Ann penned the “Ole Time Festival” drama.
Mary Ann was vice president of the Shenandoah County Library, and preserved and compiled valuable documents for donation to the Williamson Collection in the library archives, as well as to the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond. She also served as president of the Shenandoah County Historical Society and was a board member of the Shenandoah County Music Festival. She was a DAR member in Richmond and the Narrow Passage Chapter in Shenandoah County. Most notably, for almost 25 years she faithfully wrote the monthly newsletter for the Edinburg Heritage Foundation, which is now complete to April 2015. Over the years, she was consulted throughout the United States for her genealogical research.
Mary Ann authored numerous books, notably the History of Edinburg, Virginia (1994); Union Forge, Shenandoah County, Virginia (1997); The Diary of a Virginia Gentlewoman, 1943-1947, Laura Crabill Evans (2000); Peculiar Old Wills and Testaments (2004); The ABC’s of Instruction for Boys and Girls of the Lutheran Faith in America (1975); and 303 Mini-Lessons for Social Studies (1976), which won an international award in Switzerland.
Mary Ann will be interned in Cedarwood Cemetery in Edinburg, with her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
Mary Ann’s life was full and gratifying. She loved Martin Luther, St.Paul, and her Lutheran faith, and her passing was peaceful. She loved her family, friends, and beloved dog Lucy unconditionally, and was loved and admired by those she touched. She was and always will be a treasure, and heaven is a better place by her presence.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, December 15 at 11am at St. Paul’s Heritage Center, 106 S. High Street in Edinburg. Memorial donations may be made to the Edinburg Heritage Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 336, Edinburg, VA 22824 or to her beloved church, Emanuel Lutheran Church, 127 East High Street, Woodstock, VA 22664.