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Dr. Mary Silan Seawright

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Dr.  Mary Silan Seawright Obituary
Dr. Mary Silan Seawright
August 17, 1916 - February 13, 2014

Mary, a long time resident of Marysville, has passed into the hands of our Lord on February 13, 2014.

She is survived by 7 nieces and 3 nephews.

Mary requested that there not be a funeral, memorial service, or flowers. She will be buried beside her husband, Delmar C. Seawright, in the Allegheny Cemetery, in Pittsburgh, PA, her birthplace.

Mary began her teaching career in 1943 as a music teacher on an Indian Reservation in Trenton North Dakota. What an experience this was as she started the potbelly stove every morning, had outdoor plumbing, and had to run from the billy goat and jump the fence to journey home every afternoon. On January 1, 1948, Mary began working for Marysville Joint Unified Schools and served the children of this area for 55 years. During her 55 years, Mary helped start new classes for special needs students, taught a variety of grades, but spent the majority of her time teaching 2nd grade at Linda Elementary School. Mary had a real love of the fine arts and worked to develop an appreciation for art in her students. She introduced them to the opera, folk music and dance, stage plays, and many others. Mary often took students to see plays at the local theatre. One of the strategies Mary used was the publishing of student work and then presenting their work to the school library and to the families of the students. She provided opportunities for the students to visit Universities, encouraging them to further their education. She was a devoted supporter of U.C. Davis Veterinary School and has given over 68 scholarships through her endowment to veterinary students.

Summers were spent traveling to international symposiums given by the Western Society of Naturalists, or perhaps to New York's Metropolitan Opera. Closer to home, she took in performances by groups such as the Sacramento Opera, to whom she also contributed. When she received word that the Sacramento Day School were in need of instruments to support their music program, Dr. Seawright donated funds to supply the instruments. When she visited a class at U.C. Davis and became aware of the need for viewing sites for the students to witness the work of their instructor, she provided the funds for special equipment to be installed so that the students were able to better experience the process demonstrated by the professor. Through the many contributions that Mary has made, she has been honored by: U.C. Davis Veterinary School, Who's Who Historical Society, Sacramento County Day School, Delta Kappa Gamma, Sacramento Opera Association, and Marysville Joint Unified Schools.

Mary's paintings revealed the beauty of the many communities she visited. Her woodcarvings emphasized the facial detail of characters, and the watercolors expressed the vibrancy of the flowers she loved. Mary was also a gifted storyteller as she shared many of her adventures both in travel and in her teaching. She authored "A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That", telling about many of the adventures of her life. She had a dream of completing her doctorate and was honored to complete it in September of 1996.

Mary was the life of the party, often dancing among many colleagues and bringing joy to the group. Dr. Seawright lived her life to the fullest, making so many contributions, not because she thought she should, but because she was passionately interested. As you think of Mary, think of the many wonderful experiences you shared with her.

Donations may be made on behalf of Mary to: D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, PO Box 9, Glendale, CA 91209, or at 1-661-269-4010.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from Feb. 21 to Feb. 23, 2014
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