Mary Ann Kinkead passed away peacefully on May 15, 2013, in La Jolla, CA, after recent significant illnesses. Mary Ann and Jordan retired and moved to La Jolla in 2005.
Raised in Spokane, Washington, by her parents, Mary and John Childers, Mary Ann was introduced to ballet at the age of six and her love for dance was immediate. She entered Mills College in 1959, received her BA and MA in Dance and joined the Mills Dance faculty in 1966. She taught dance at Mills for the next 39 years. During that time she was Chair of the Dance Department, Dean of the Fine Arts Division, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, and acting president. Mary Ann had an exceptional spirit, a wonderful sense of humor, and boundless energy. Those who knew her cherished her generous moral support and forthright candor. She loved to teach and that love only increased over the years. She stood out for her devotion to her fellow faculty and her students and she was twice named the Mary Metz Professor for outstanding teaching. She published two textbooks on Labanotation, the technique that diagrams the choreography of dancers' motions. Her professional standing was acknowledged by the award of the Isadora Duncan "Izzie" for service to the San Francisco Bay Area dance community. After retiring, Mary Ann served for ten years on the board of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, where she found a new arena in which to promote her love of dance. She is remembered for her steadfast dedication to the highest standards in education and art.
Mary Ann and her loving husband, Jordan (Pooh), were married in 1963 and would have celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in August of this year. She dearly loved her two sons, John and Cary and his wife, Tina; and her three grandchildren, Ames (8), Jordan (7), and Hayes (5). It was always clear that she valued her family's well-being far above her own.
A Celebration of her Life will be held at Mills College in Lisser Hall on Friday, May 31, 2013, at 1:30 PM. Interment will be Thursday, May 30, 2013, at 11:00 AM. at Alta Mesa Funeral Home & Memorial Park, 695 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Paul Taylor New Works Fund, 551 Grand St., New York, NY 10002, and to The Mary Ann Childers Kinkead Scholarship for Dance at Mills College.
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