Mary Ann (Aspinwall) Owens

June 24, 1928 - Nov. 21, 2005

Mary Ann (Aspinwall) Owens, age 77, passed away Nov. 21, 2005, following a courageous battle with cancer in the Intensive Care Unit of New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, N.Y.

She was born Mary Ann Aspinwall on June 24, 1928, in Fort Atkinson, the older daughter of Robert Abbott and Justine (Michels) Aspinwall. She graduated from Fort Atkinson High School in 1946. Mary Ann graduated from Carroll College in Waukesha in June 1950.

She married John C. Owens in Fort Atkinson on June 3, 1951, and they resided in Waukesha for 30 years, where she was active in the Order of Eastern Star, worked as a bookkeeper for the family businesses, and rooted for the Cubs, then the Braves, the Packers and the Badgers.

Mary Ann became interested in elephant collecting, and then in stamps about elephants and created a topical exhibit about elephants that featured rare stamps from around the world. This exhibit won numerous judgings, leading to her becoming a judge for stamp and thematic shows and serving as the representative from the American Philatelic Society to the U.S. Postal Service Citizens Stamp Advisory Council. The elephant exhibit was eventually retired from judging but still shown, and she was invited to talk to philatelic and thematic groups throughout the United States and in India, Kenya, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia.

While in Brooklyn the last 25 years, she continued bookkeeping for small businesses, including in 2005, and started new philatelic and thematic exhibits about umbrellas, ladybugs, badgers and the Aspinwall Connection.

She is survived by her dear friend, George T. Guzzio, Brooklyn; her brotherís widow, Betsy (Ted) Isenberg, Wauwatosa; her sisterís widower, Robert Garnham, Rochester, N.Y.; her brother, Paul (Bonnie) Aspinwall, Madison; and seven nieces and nephews, Barbara Aspinwall (Glenn) Gittings of Milwaukee, Keith Aspinwall of San Diego, John Garnham of Los Lunas, N.M., James (Debbie) Garnham of Rochester, Amy Aspinwall (Jason) Amsler of Glen Allen, Va., Adam Aspinwall of Newark, Del., and April Aspinwall, Stamford, Conn., plus 11 great-nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her grandparents and parents; three infant brothers; her brother, Robert Michels (Betsy) Aspinwall; her sister, Jane Louise Aspinwall (Robert) Garnham; and her husband.

Her cremains will be buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Atkinson in the late spring of 2006.