Mary Ann Harding (May 13, 1926 - April 29, 2023)

In loving memory of
Mary Ann Harding
  • May 13, 1926
  • -
  • April 29, 2023

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It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Mary Ann Harding, on April 29, 2023, in Ft. Myers, FL, at the venerable age of 96. Mary was born on May 13, 1926, in Iron Mountain, MI, to the late John and Irene Jelsch.

Mary Ann leaves behind a daughter, Sherri Ross; a son, John Harding; a son-in-law, John L. Ross; a daughter-in-law, Carole Harding; and four amazing grandsons: John H. Ross, Adam Ross, Andrew Harding, and Alex Harding.

Mary Ann spent her life in service to others, dedicating nearly four decades to education. She earned her degree from Albion College, and with selfless devotion, taught elementary education for the majority of her career with Utica Community Schools. Her legacy extends far beyond the classroom, as she touched countless lives with her kindness and generosity.

Mary Ann was a woman of simple pleasures. She was an avid reader, loved playing Bridge and Mahjongg, spending time at the casino, golf, travel, enjoying summers at Spread Eagle, WI, and a well-crafted Southern Comfort Manhattan. Above all, her greatest joy, was the love she had for her family, whom she cherished beyond measure.

Mary Ann’s faith provided comfort and guidance throughout her life. She was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Iron Mountain, MI, and the Congregational Church in Romeo, MI.

A Celebration of Life will be held in honor of Mary Ann this summer in Iron Mountain, MI. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly request donations to be made to the Trinity Methodist Church in memory of Mary Ann.

Mary Ann will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and all those whose lives she touched. Her spirit lives on in the memories of those who knew her, and her legacy will forever be a shining symbol of love and grace.

Baldwin Brothers, Fort Myers, FL, is entrusted with final care.

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  1. Wanda and Greg Ganfield says:
    20 May 2023
    Sincere condolences to the Harding and Ross families. I was "baby sitter" for Sherry and John. I too, enjoyed the Christmas cocktail (soco Manhattan) and many shared hors d'oeuvre with friends. Great memories of a wonderful lady!

  2. Alice says:
    09 May 2023
    Maryann was a light to the world and I see many students and co/ workers agree. She was my neighbor growing up on Londonderry Drive in Romeo but also the mother of two friends Sherry and John who I grew up with . Of course friends of my deceased parents . As an adult every year at Christmas my dad would take me across the street to share one those famous manhattans with Maryann and Red! Cheers to a great lady whom I will never forget her contagious laugh !! to John and Sherry my sincere condolences

  3. Mary Milke says:
    09 May 2023
    I had the privilege to be in Mrs. Harding's Kindergarten at Roberts. Even though it was many years ago, the memories are all joy. The world is a better place because of the lives Mary Ann touched. Praying for peace for her family in this difficult time.

  4. Thomas McMillan says:
    08 May 2023
    I was fortunate to teach at Disco for 7 years with Mary Ann and another year at Roberts. She sure had a special way with and understanding of those little kids. She was a friend to everyone and always willing to help anyone who needed it. She will be missed.

  5. Joyce Steffey says:
    08 May 2023
    I taught with Mary Ann at Disco for four years and then at Roberts for many years. My fifth grade students did some journaling activities with her kindergarten students. What a hoot! I couldn’t understand many of the 5-6 year olds. I don’t know how she managed to understand them. Mary Ann was also in a Roberts pinochle group. We had many enjoyable evenings together, sharing stories and luscious desserts. I was fortunate to see her along with Jean Rentz in Florida a few years ago. She was still the same Mary Ann. She will be missed!

  6. Nancy Sink says:
    08 May 2023
    Sending deepest sympathy to the family. Maryann was an amazing lady. I taught with her at Robert’s elementary from 1972 until she retired. All of my first graders loved Mrs. Harding. She was a tough act to follow. Peace to the family.

  7. Kristin Kehoe Bemis says:
    08 May 2023
    Thoughts and prayers are with her family. I was one of Mrs. Harding's Kindergarten students in 1979-1980. I do not have many memories from the age of 5, but I do have vivid memories of her kindness, me picking flowers from the tree in our yard to bring to her, her birthday prizes in a hat box, and her playing the piano. I ended up in education as well and have been teaching at that same school (Roberts) for the past 20 years. We have been thinking of past Roberts staff because Roberts is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. I will remember Mrs. Harding as an amazing kindergarten teacher. Hoping, your great memories will bring you some comfort.

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