A Mass in celebration of the life of Mary Jeanne Britt Grabman will be offered 11 a.m. March 14, 2014, at Twin Lakes May-Foley Chapel, 100 Wade Coble Drive, Burlington N.C. The Rev. Briant Cullinane O.F.M. will officiate. A luncheon will follow.
Ms. Grabman, born Nov. 20, 1919, in Pittsburgh, Pa., the daughter of Michael and Beatrice Neilan Britt, earned her Master's Degree in Education at University of Pittsburgh where she also pursued doctoral studies.
She served as an active duty officer with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and the Women's Army Corps for three years during World War II, attaining the rank of First Lieutenant, studying Japanese at Presidio of Monterey California Civic Affairs Staging Area in anticipation of service as a Civil Administrator in Japan and learning to fly an airplane.
Married Aug. 1945, Ann Arbor, Mich., she and her husband of 56 years, now deceased Henry B. Grabman, were residents of Geneva, N.Y. from 1955 to 1996, and together raised five sons. There Mary Jeanne also taught at the Marion S. Whelan School of Practical Nursing, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Geneva Public High School. In addition she served as Secretary of the Board for Geneva General Hospital and was President of the League of Women Voters of Geneva, receiving the 1970 Agnes Slosson Lewis Award. Further, she was an active member of many social and civic groups such as the Catharine Foster Hopkins Art Reading Club for 30 years, the Professor Alexander Campbell Reading Group, the Women in Military Service for America and long taught adult literacy classes with Literacy Volunteers of America. Throughout she worshiped at St. Stephen's Roman Catholic Church.
Upon retirement she and Henry relocated to Twin Lakes Community in Burlington, N.C., where she passed on Feb. 25. She was a member of Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in Burlington.
Preceded by Henry, sister, Elizabeth Britt Mayeux and son, Dr. James P. (Paula DeLaiarro, Anchorage Alaska), survivors include sons, H. Michael (Marie-Helene Lawler), Alexandria, Va., John (Jack) E. (Debbie Shelley), Santa Barbara, Calif.; Richard P., Mazatlan, Mexico; Robert B. (Lisa Howard), Arlington, Va.; sister Catherine Britt, Yountsville, Calif., 11 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces and friends.
Memorials may be made to Geneva General Hospital, 196 North St., Geneva, NY 14456 or St. Francis-St. Stephen School, Geneva, NY 14456-2299 or Blessed Sacrament Church, P.O. Box 619, Burlington, NC 27216.
Rich & Thompson Funeral and Cremation Services, Burlington is assisting. Condolences may be offered at www.richandthompson.com