She died "of causes incident to dementia in Flower Mound, Texas, where she had lived the past two years at a memory care facility," according to a family-prepared obituary notice.
Wallmann spent almost her entire life in Albany, where she graduated valedictorian in 1945. Her parents, John Watkinson and Kathleen Bass, immigrated from England, and her mother is featured at a young age in the cover photo on the book about Albany history, Images of America: Albany, by Karen Sorensen and the Albany Historical Society.
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"Mary Wallmann has touched many people in Albany, as the high school librarian, accompanist for limitless numbers of musical performances at all of the schools,
Albany School Board member, and member of the Albany Education Foundation Board," said Dianne McNenny, President of the Albany Education Foundation.
"Mary had a passion for helping children and for playing music," McNenny said. "Always willing to volunteer, Mary played a positive and encouraging role in the many efforts she supported in Albany. I remember her most as a warm, insightful, caring woman busy with new tasks to do and folks to help. She leaves a long and memorable legacy in Albany."
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1501 Walnut St. in Berkeley.
More information about Wallman, her family and where contributions can be sent are in the following obituary notice provided by her family:
Mary W. Wallmann
Mary W. Wallmann died on September 26 of causes incident to dementia in Flower Mound, Texas, where she had lived the past two years at a memory care facility. She was 86. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 12, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1501 Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA 94709.
Mary Kathleen Watkinson was born April 21, 1927, in Albany, California, to John Watkinson and Kathleen Bass, immigrants from England. She was educated at Marin School and Albany High School, where she was valedictorian in 1945. A Phi Beta Kappa student at the University of California, Berkeley, degrees in French and Library Science from that institution were granted in 1949 and 1950, respectively. She was librarian at Albany High School from 1966 until she retired in 1993. After retirement, she was a founding member of the Albany Education Foundation and served as a member of the Albany Unified School District Board of Education from 1998 to 2002.
Music was an important part of Mary’s life. She was six years old when she started piano lessons with a neighbor who herself had only had six piano lessons in her life, but Mary progressed rapidly. As a teenager, she earned money for college by playing the piano at fifty cents an hour for dancers and singers, even playing “Song of India” for a sword swallower’s act. For about twenty years she accompanied the annual musical put on at Albany High School. As an adult, she learned to play the organ.
Except for short periods living in Chicago, Paris, Oxford, and Texas, Mary spent almost her entire life in Albany. She was a life-long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and played the organ at the historic Berkeley Ward meetinghouse for decades. In addition to her volunteer and charitable service with the Mormon community, Mary played the piano at elementary schools in Albany and Richmond following her retirement.
Mary married James C. Wallmann in 1950; he was a research chemist at the Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley (now Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) from 1952 until his death in 1965. They had three sons: John, James, and Peter. Mary is survived by her son Jim of Flower Mound, Texas, a corporate attorney with Lehigh Hanson; her granddaughter Christina, daughter of Jim and Ria van Elburg, also of Flower Mound; the two surviving children of Peter and Denise Jenkins, her granddaughter Elizabeth of Tempe, Arizona, a dentist, and her grandson Andrew, also of Tempe, a medical student; and her twin brother James S. Watkinson of Richmond, Virginia, and three of his children and their families. She was preceded in death by sons John and Peter and her grandson Matthew, son of Peter and Denise.
The family may be reached at 5121 Mystic Hollow Court, Flower Mound, TX 75028. In lieu of flowers, friends of Mary who so desire may wish to contribute to the Albany Education Foundation, Friends of the Brigham Young University Library, or a favorite charity.