Mary Stewart Rothmann Wilkinson, 69, of Fairport, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, departed her earthly life surrounded by loved ones on November 29, 2012, at the Advent House Hospice Center in Fairport, NY.
Mary was born August 19, 1943 in New York City, NY and was one of four children born to the late William A. and Helen Bowers Coppell Rothmann. She grew up in Chatham, NY and enjoyed a rural childhood with her siblings, spending time playing in the woods, swimming in the creek, and hiding in the barn. She graduated from Chatham Central High School in 1961 and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1965. Mary continued her studies in art history at the University of Colorado earning a Masters degree. During these years Mary also pursued her passion for travel via the Semester at Sea program. She made lifelong friends and traveled around the world twice!
After her years of school Mary began her career in the arts, working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Later she moved with her husband Phil to Fairport, NY to start a family and also began her influential career as a middle school art teacher. During her 15 years tenure at Williamson Middle School she founded new arts events and served as a mentor teacher to others throughout the Williamson Central School District. She always integrated lessons on life and travel into her art curriculum and inspired everyone around her to be positive, loving, and creative.
In retirement Mary enjoyed skiing, sailing and traveling with Phil. Together they visited Italy, Sweden, Russia, South America, the Galápagos Islands, Alaska, Montana, California, Canada and even made time for another Semester at Sea enrichment voyage. She created beautiful pottery side by side with Phil at Turk Hill Crafts School and enjoyed organizing reunions with college friends that coincided with her son Eric’s choir performances. She pursued all of her lifelong interests during retirement, but nothing could compare to the precious time that she shared with her two grandchildren. They read, played together, and worked on all sorts of creative art projects.
She is survived by her loving husband, Philip Wardner Wilkinson, with whom she shared 42 years of marriage. Together they had two children, Philip Wilkinson Jr. and his wife Theresa of Boston, MA and Eric Wilkinson and his wife Emily of Charleston, SC. She was loved dearly by her grandchildren Kiera and Theo Wilkinson. They will remember many creative art projects and skiing lessons with “Mimi”. She is also survived by her brother Edward H. Mitcham and his wife Elaine of Bridport, VT, her sister Dorothy Bogardus and her husband Earl of Warner Robins, GA, and twin sister Alice Demarest and her husband John of Cambridge, NY, as well as loving nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Monday, 4-7 at the Egypt Location. The funeral service will be Tuesday 1:30 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (Fairport) conducted by Rev. Deven Hubert. Family and friends are invited to attend a reception following the service in the church fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Advent House, 1010 Moseley Road Fairport, NY 14450; or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.
The family would like to thank the many doctors and nursing staff who provided such excellent care and the thoughtfulness and prayers of devoted friends.