The Daily Star
---- — Mary Anna DeMarco
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Mary Anna DeMarco passed away Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at the Glendale Nursing Home.
Born on Nov. 5, 1927, in Worcester, she was the daughter of the late Percy and Anna Gaffey Palmater.
Mary was an honors graduate of Oneonta High School in 1945 and received a Bachelor of Education degree from the State University in Oneonta in 1949, where she was a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Honorary Society in Education. In 1962 she was awarded a Master of Science degree by the State University in New Paltz.
In 1949, Mary began her 40-year teaching career in Saugerties, where she taught in the elementary school, junior and senior high schools. In 1952, she was appointed principal of the Hill Street Elementary School. While in Saugerties, she was a charter member of the Saugerties Youth Council, president of the PTA and played first violin in the Saugerties String Quartet.
In 1961, she taught in the Monroe-Woodbury School District where she was selected to work with a group of gifted children. Mary was appointed assistant professor at the State University College in Oneonta in 1963, where she served as chairman of the New Campus School Community, treasurer of the Oneonta Branch of the American Association of University Professors and a first violinist in the Oneonta Symphony Orchestra.
When her husband’s business was transferred to the Capital District, she became coordinator of the Remedial Reading Program in the Mohonasen School District, Schenectady, where she also established and coordinated the Learning Disabilities Program. She served as principal of the Mohonasen Summer School Program. While in Schenectady, Mrs. DeMarco served as president of the Schenectady County Reading Association and was on the Executive Board of the Iroquois Reading Council. She was selected as one of five teachers from a group of 50 applicants to serve as a Consultant in Education for the General Electric Company for eight years, during which time she worked to develop and test educational technology.
In 1971, Mary became the district reading coordinator for the Saratoga Springs City Schools and the family moved to Greenfield, just outside of Saratoga Springs. She served on the Greenfield Environmental Commission, was a member of the Greenfield Historical Society and served as general chairman of the Town’s Heritage Bicentennial Commission in 1993.
After retiring from teaching, Mary was appointed to the position of Greenfield town historian in 1990. In her new position she provided genealogical information for family history researchers and collected, protected and disseminated the town’s history. She wrote articles and worked with the students at Greenfield Elementary School in their work of local history. As a volunteer at the NY State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, she presented historical programs related to the life and work of Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Dr. Mary Walker. She truly enjoyed storytelling and participated in many of these programs.
Mary was a member of the Upper Hudson Historical Association, the Association of Public Historians, the Heritage Foundation, the National Council for History Education and the Archives Partnership Trust. Throughout her career she was dedicated to the pursuit of beauty, the pursuit of excellence and the pursuit of knowledge.
Her Master’s thesis was based on the topic of “Developing the Creative Potential of Children” and she epitomized the essence of her belief that creativity is absolutely essential for success. She worked tirelessly to encourage the development of each person’s creative potential, whether they were a five year old first grader, a college freshman, or a senior citizen making an oral history recording.
Music was an ever-present part of her life, from the violin, studying the piano for many years and playing the large church organ in her home. She also studied painting and completed works in oil, watercolor and pastels. Writing children’s books was also very important to her. These books were used in the classrooms and also in some of the teaching-learning machines while she was at GE. Of all of her many interests and activities, she considered her family and her home to be the most important and most enjoyable of all.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Harold, who died in 1973.
Survivors include her daughter, Maryanne, and her two sons, Robert and Thomas, along with her three grandchildren, Sabrina, Andrew and Christine, and one great-granddaughter, Bianca.
Relatives and friends may call from 4 to 6pm Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at the William J. Burke & Sons/Bussing & Cunniff Funeral Homes, 628 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs (584-5373).
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10am Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at St. Clement’s Church, 231 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs.
Burial will follow in the family plot at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Worcester.
Donations may be made in Mary’s memory to a charity of one’s choice.
Online remembrances may be made at www.burkefuneralhome.com.