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MARY MARGARET STEEDLY


1946 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
MARY MARGARET STEEDLY Obituary
STEEDLY, Mary Margaret Age 71, of Lincoln, formerly of Cambridge, died peacefully at the Miriam Boyd Parlin Residence in Wayland on Thursday, January 4, 2018. For the past sixteen months, she bravely and calmly lived her life as she fought her battle with breast cancer. She was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on December 16, 1946, the daughter of the late John Wesley Steedly and Margaret (Raper) Steedly Hemingway, and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. Mary studied at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and then took an MA in Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She later attended the University of Michigian, where she submitted a prize-winning thesis for her PhD in Cultural and Medical Anthrolopology. Mary taught in the Anthropology Department at Harvard University since 1990, and became a full Professor of Anthropology in 1998. She was a passionate teacher and mentor, much loved by her students and colleagues. She was a distinguished and internationally recognized scholar of Indonesian culture and history, known especially for her many years of fieldwork in the Karo Batak region of northern Sumatra. A gifted writer, she wrote two influential books and many articles on urban and rural Karoland, exploring spirit mediums, historical memory, colonialism, nationalism, and the crucial role of Karo women in the Indonesian revolution. Anyone who spent time with Mary quickly learned of the deep affection she held for her dogs. As a member of ARFF Agility Club, she enjoyed training her dogs and competing with them in agility events around New England. Her dogs brought her into contact with communities of people with whom she forged strong bonds. Mary also loved reading, gardening, watching birds in her yard, and taking long walks in nature. She was a creative and adventurous cook, who loved trying new foods, and preparing sumptuous meals. She was an avid fan of the Red Sox and the Patriots. She leaves behind a devoted brother, John Steedly and his wife Paula of Charlottesville, VA, two stepbrothers, Ron Hemingway of Mt. Pleasant, SC and Bill Hemingway of Bend, OR, her beloved dogs, June and Hopper, as well as many dear friends, including Nina DeLuca of Lincoln, with whom she shared a home over the past eighteen years. A celebration of her life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Mass Audubon (www.massaudubon.org) or to the National Canine Cancer Foundation (www.wearethecure.org). To share a remembrance in her online guestbook, please visit www.DeeFuneralHome.com Dee Funeral Home of Concord 978-369-2030 Caring for families since 1868
Published in The Boston Globe on Jan. 14, 2018
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