Following a long and courageous battle with cancer, Mary Ann Brown left for her new home in heaven on Saturday, May 21st. Mary Ann was born in Luling, Texas on September 1, 1948. She grew up an Air Force kid, including a four year stay in England. Her father retired to Albuquerque in 1960, where Mary Ann attended Sandia High School. After graduation, she continued her education at Eastern New Mexico University. A fine pianist, she accompanied the ENMU Choir for three years. She received her BA in Music Education in 1970.
Mary Ann moved to Hobbs and began her career as an outstanding educator. She taught first grade, and then kindergarten, at several elementary schools. She used her creativity and musical ability to huge advantage, writing music for skits and plays for her own classes and others. Her classroom was always cheerful, and she was completely devoted to her students.
She continued her own education as well, earning a Master of Education Degree from ENMU. She served as president of the Hobbs Classroom Teachers Association and was a recipient of the Veteto Excellence In Teaching Award. Mary Ann had an extremely positive impact on our community. Even years after she retired, she couldn’t go anywhere without encountering one of her former students, who wanted a hug from “Miss Brown”.
For a time, Mary Ann also taught Driver’s Education. She taught private piano and played for weddings, funerals, and musical productions.
An ardent animal lover, Mary Ann always had critters around – dogs, horses, ferrets, chinchillas – she loved them all, and she could not watch a movie if it depicted an animal being hurt.
Her favorite things were sunflowers, roses, and hummingbirds. She loved music, history, and was a voracious reader. She had a wicked sense of humor and a contagious laugh. Most of all she was always first to offer help to anyone who needed it. She had a huge heart and made room in it for an amazing array of people. To be loved by Mary Ann was a wonderful thing!
She is preceded in death by her parents, Billie and Joe Bennett. She leaves behind her son Benn Clark, grandchildren Jessica Johnson, Tyler Johnson and wife Kristian, Austin Johnson, and Alyssa Clark, two great-grandchildren and one on the way. Mary Ann will be missed by so many whose lives she touched.