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Obituaries » Mary Ann Sullivan

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Mary Ann Sullivan

July 30, 1941 - August 22, 2018

Burial Date August 25, 2018

Obituary Viewed 2881 times

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Mary Ann Sullivan, Professor Emerita Bluffton University, 77, died on August 22, 2018 at her home in Lima, Ohio.
Mary Ann was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on July 30, 1941, to Raymond W. Miller and Martha Mildred (Cordray) Miller, who preceded her in death. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Bill Sullivan, and by her brother, Douglas Miller of Omaha, Nebraska.
Mary Ann received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Rice University, Houston, where she was a Ford Foundation Fellow, and her PhD in English literature from The Ohio State University. She also did extensive graduate course work in Art History at Bowling Green State University and participated in the Florida State University study abroad program, spending a semester in Florence, Italy, in 1983. She was an avid, adventurous, and ever-curious student, supplementing her formal course work with extensive reading and attendance at lectures and museum exhibits.
Mary Ann received many teaching awards during her career: she had two National Endowment for the Humanities grants, one to study the relations between poetry and the visual arts under Carl Woodring at Columbia University, and one to study 18th century aesthetics under Ronald Paulson at Johns Hopkins University. While at Bluffton University she several faculty awards, including a number of Study Center grants, the Sears Teaching Excellence Award in 1991, the Outstanding Educator Award from the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce in 1998, and the Bluffton Faculty Staff Service Award in 2009.
Mary Ann was an acclaimed and beloved teacher. In addition to her courses at Bluffton, she was repeatedly selected to deliver the C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture at the University. She taught in the retirement programs at Bluffton and at Ohio State Lima, and she lectured frequently on art, art history, and women’s studies, as well as offering well-received illustrated lectures for ArtSpace/Lima.
As an extension of her formal teaching, Mary Ann led several study tours devoted to art and art history: in connection with Global Football she took Bluffton athletes to Spain and she took Bluffton art students to Poland, Vietnam and Cambodia. She cooperated with ArtSpace/Lima in planning and supervising study tours to Spain, Paris, and Oaxaca, Mexico. She also wrote frequently on art and art history and prepared a number of exhibit catalogues for ArtSpace/Lima, including catalogues for Jack Earl, Jaye Bumbaugh, Three Women Realists, and two editions of the ArtSpace/Lima Sculpture Exhibit.
She visited China with friends and travelled extensively with her husband, to Egypt, Mexico, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, and most recently, Russia, and India. Mary Ann pursued the photography of architecture on her travels and maintained a website, Digital Imaging Project with more than 26,000 images and accompanying explanatory text. Her images have appeared in hundreds of national and international publications, and she has a permanent exhibit of her photographs of famous libraries in the Bluffton University Library. In recent weeks, the Findlay Courier featured the website and an interview with Mary Ann about its genesis and impact.
Mary Ann loved cooking on her professional stove, preparing and serving gourmet meals to her guests; she loved acting from her earliest years and, as an adult, performed Mrs. Malaprop at Bluffton University and the lead role in Lettuce and Lovage at Encore Theatre; she loved gardening and her screened-in porch where she could watch for yellow finches at their feeders; she loved learning Spanish and the many Spanish-speaking friends with whom she held mutual learning sessions, she helping them with their English, they helping her with her Spanish.
A remembrance service will be held at Chiles-Laman Funeral Home on Shawnee Road on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm. Visiting hours will be from 12:00-2:00.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to ArtSpace/Lima and Bluffton University.


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