Mary Ann Sullivan passed away peacefully on November 12, 2019 at Pleasant Valley Nursing Center, Derry, NH after a long illness. Mary was born in Philadelphia, PA on Sept. 10, 1941, as the only daughter of Leon Deloss & Helen Penner of Delaware. They were living just across the Delaware River from Philly at that time. While still in Delaware, at the age of 5, Mary contracted Polio from contaminated water. She underwent intensive physical therapy and treatments, and beat Polio, with virtually no lingering side effects. Not long after that, the Penner's returned to their family home in Unadilla Forks, NY, where Mary attended local schools. Eventually, the family resettled in Owego, NY, where Mary graduated from High School.
Mary went in to Baptist Bible Seminary, (renamed Clark Summit University) Clarks Summit, PA, where she graduated with a BRE, majoring in Music Ministry and Performance, in 1969. During her studies, she spent summers studying trumpet with a retired First Trumpeter of the Chicago Symphony. In the early 1970's, she was accepted into a special Master's Degree program at Ithaca College, majoring in Music Education. Demands of raising a family, and relocation to Syracuse, NY because of her husband's work, caused Mary to sacrifice her Master's Degree and career plans.
Mary met her future husband Grant Sullivan,Jr. in 1968, while working part-time, during her Bachelor's studies, at SUNY / Binghamton, where Grant was a student. They got engaged in 1969, and married on Jan. 24, 1970 in Binghamton, NY. Son William was born to them in Binghamton in 1973. They relocated to Syracuse, NY in 1973, and daughter Elizabeth was born there (1976). Eventually the family moved to Hooksett, NH.
Following a divorce in 1980, Mary and children relocated to Derry (1985). There, like many women of today, she became a "single mother", struggling to raise 2 children. She gave private trumpet lessons to local teens. She worked part time for several years for the Visiting Nurse Association of Manchester as an in-home care giver to the elderly and infirm. Her clients enjoyed her gift of gab. Mary encouraged he children to receive academic excellence. Her son, William, was the first autistic student to be mainstreamed in the classroom in the Derry Public School system. Besides working in customer service for many years, she dedicated her time to the home care of her son, up until this past year. She was also a longtime active and contributing member of her church.
Mary Ann (Penner) Sullivan was predeceased by her parents Leon Deloss & Hellen Louella Amelia (Fritz) Penner of Unadilla Fork, NY. Mary is survived by her children William A Sullivan, and Elizabeth A Noonan, DVM (with husband Peter) of Manchester, NH, her friend and former husband Grant W Sullivan, Jr of Manchester, her older brother & sister-in-law Donald & Joan Penner of King of Prussia, PA. In addition, Mary is survived by her granddaughter Isla Noonan of Manchester, nephews William and Marc Penner, great-nieces / nephews, and many cousins.
A memorial service was held at Southside Bible Fellowship, Manchester, NH on Nov. 24, 2019 under the direction of Rev. Pastor Vallerian Mganga, at 10:30 a.m. followed by a luncheon at the church for family and friends. The burial will be private. The Peabody Funeral Home of Derry and Londonderry is assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in the name of Mary A Sullivan, to www.autismspeaks.org.